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Alaska Department of Fish and Game

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Area Sport Fishing Reports

May 17, 2017

Week of May 17 to May 23

Emergency Orders and Regulation Reminders

  • Anglers are reminded that flowing waters in the Palmer-Wasilla Zone are CLOSED to all fishing until June 15.
  • Many flowing waters along the Parks Highway are catch-and-release only for rainbow trout until June 15.
  • Anglers are advised that, in an effort to meet king salmon escapement goals in the Susitna River and Little Susitna River drainages, the following sport fishing restrictions are in effect beginning Thursday, May 1, 2017, in the Susitna River drainage (Units 1-6) and Little Susitna River:
    • Only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure is allowed, except on the Deshka River and Little Susitna River where multiple hooks are currently allowed.
    • The annual limit for king salmon in Cook Inlet is five fish over 20 inches in length, of which only two may be from the Little Susitna River and only two may be from the Yentna River drainage (Unit 4). King salmon that are intended to be released may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
    • Deshka River is open to king fishing per regulation seven days per week; bait is allowed beginning June 1.
    • King salmon harvest in the Yentna drainage is allowed four days per week (Fridays-Mondays); king salmon harvest (of any size) is prohibited Tuesdays-Thursdays; only catch-and-release fishing is allowed on these days.
    • King salmon harvest (of any size) is prohibited within Unit 1 (except on Deshka River), on the Parks Highway streams within Unit 2, the Upper Susitna (Unit 3), Talkeetna River (Unit 5), and Chulitna River (Unit 6). Fishing, but not harvest of king salmon, will be allowed during days and times normally open to king salmon fishing within these management units.
    • Harvest on the Little Susitna is allowed seven days a week; only the annual limit of two kings over 20 inches applies here.
    • In the waters of Unit 2 open to catch-and-release fishing for king salmon, fishing for trout and other species will not be affected by these emergency regulations for king salmon and will continue as written in current regulation.
    • The Eklutna Tailrace and Deshka River are excluded from all king salmon emergency order restrictions.
    • Anglers are reminded that a regulation passed by the Board in 2014 impacting boat motor use on the Little Susitna River goes into effect this season. On the Little Susitna River, a person may not sport fish from a boat that is powered by use of a motor, unless the motor is a 4-stroke motor or direct fuel injection 2-stroke motor. Anglers may use a boat powered by a non-direct fuel injected 2-stroke motor to access areas to sport fish from the bank, but may not sport fish from the boat.

Fresh Waters


  • A few kings have been caught at the mouth of the Deshka River. Fishing should improve as the end of May approaches.
  • The Little Susitna weir has been installed and counts are available online. The Deshka weir is scheduled for installation on May 17, 2017, visit the following link to review daily fish count numbers.
  • The gate is now open to the Eklutna Tailrace; typically the first kings caught there are at the end of May. No catches have been reported yet and the water is still low.

Trout, Dolly Varden, Grayling

  • The mouths and lower sections of the Parks Highway streams from Willow north to Talkeetna are providing good rainbow trout and grayling fishing with a few Dolly Varden being caught.
  • Remember that Deception Creek is closed to all fishing until June 15.

Northern Pike

  • Northern pike may be found in shallow, grassy waters where they are spawning. At this time, many pike have finished spawning and are beginning to feed aggressively while still in the shallows. Try top-water lures or weedless leeches. This is also a good time to try fishing with a bow and arrow.
  • For road-accessible pike fishing try the Nancy Lake Recreation Area, Big Lake, Prator Lake, and Memory Lake.
  • Take a spring boat trip on the Susitna and try fishing the side channel sloughs of the Deshka River, Fish Creek (Kroto Slough), Moose Creek, or Indian Creek on the Yentna River.

Lake Fishing

  • Lake fishing has been excellent! Irene and Matanuska Lake have been especially productive with Arctic Char catches.
  • Recently stocked lakes with rainbow trout include: Echo, Kepler/Bradley, Knik, Loberg, Lucille, Matanuska, and Reed.
  • To see a complete list of stocked lake and locations, visit the ADF&G's Hatcheries and Stocking webpage. 

Personal Use

  • Hooligan fishing has been excellent; they are in big numbers right now in the Lower Susitna especially. This fishery should remain good through the end of the month. Hooligan should be downstream of the Deshka by this weekend.
  • You must hold an Alaskan resident sport fishing license in order to dipnet for hooligan.


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Mat-Su Area Archives for:
May 17, 2017 May 10, 2017 May 04, 2017