Area Sport Fishing Reports
Archived Sport Fishing Report
May 08, 2013
Emergency Orders and regulation reminders
• Due to anticipated king salmon shortages, harvest will be limited or not allowed in many areas of the Matsu this season. There will be opportunity for catch-and-release fishing in many areas where harvest is not allowed. Beginning May 15, the total annual limit of king salmon 20 inches or longer taken in combination from the Susitna River drainage and Little Susitna River is two (2). The annual limit for fresh waters of Cook Inlet remains at five (5), but no more than two of those five may be taken from the Susitna River drainage Units 1-6 and the Little Susitna River. Also within the Susitna and Little Susitna drainages, only one, unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure is allowed while fishing for king salmon and anglers must stop fishing for any species of fish in waters open to king salmon fishing after harvesting a king salmon. Deshka River is included in these restrictions, but otherwise open to harvest seven days a week.
• Parks Highway streams within Unit 2 of the Susitna River will be further restricted to catch-and-release only. Catch and release fishing for king salmon will be allowed only during times the normal king salmon fishery is open by regulation, which is through the third Monday in June and then for 2 consecutive 3-day weekends (Saturday-Monday). Dates in 2013 for catch and release correspond to May 15 through June 17, June 22-24, and June 29-July 1. 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.
• All waters of Unit 1 (except the Deshka River), Unit 3, Unit 5, and the Chulitna River in Unit 6 will be further restricted to catch-and-release fishing.
• Waters of Unit 4 (Yentna River drainage) will be further restricted by allowing harvest Friday–Monday only. Catch-and-release fishing for king salmon will be allowed Tuesday–Thursday. The exception within Unit 4 is Talachulitna River drainage where fishing for king salmon will be limited to catch-and-release only seven days per week.
• King salmon fishing on the Little Susitna is further restricted as follows: beginning May 15 harvest is allowed only on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. King salmon harvest (of any size) is prohibited on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday; only catch-and-release fishing is allowed on these days. King salmon that are intended to be released may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
• The Eklutna Tailrace is excluded from all king salmon emergency order restrictions.
• 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.
• King salmon begin to appear in a few northern Cook Inlet streams by mid- to late May. The waters downstream of Burma Landing on the Little Susitna River and the mouth of the Deshka River are the first places anglers report catches.
• Fishing at the Eklutna Power Plant Tailrace generally picks up in early June.
Trout, Dolly Varden, Grayling
• The mouths of the Parks Highway streams including Willow Creek and streams to the north may provide some action for rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, and grayling as streams continue to open up.
• Reminder, Deception Creek is closed to all fishing until June 15.
• Anglers may retain as many pike as they catch – there is no bag or possession limit.
• In the freshwaters of West Cook Inlet and Susitna River drainage, anglers are not allowed to release live pike back into the water. Pike not retained for personal use may be disposed of through lawful and safe methods, including returning dead pike to the water.
• Pike are just now starting to spawn and may be found in shallow, grassy waters. Nancy Lake canoe system and Big Lake along the shore lines and near outlets may prove productive for spear fishing as the ice retreats.
• Pike can be a little sluggish while spawning, so try a variety of lures. Where bait is allowed, herring under a bobber can’t be beat. This is also a good time to try bow fishing for pike.
• For road-accessible pike fishing try the Nancy Lake Recreation Area lakes and Big, Prator, and Memory lakes.
• Many valley lakes are still ice covered and it may be a few weeks before we see the first fish stocked.
• Kepler/Bradley Lakes have been opening up along the shore line, anglers have been testing their luck daily at the bridge.
• ADF&G does not monitor ice thickness; travel is at your own risk, use extreme caution.
• Hooligan should start showing in the Susitna River around mid May.
• You must hold an Alaskan resident sport fishing license (or ADF&G senior license or ADF&G Disabled Veteran’s license) in order to use a dipnet to catch hooligan. You may take as many hooligan as you will use.