Area Sport Fishing Reports
Archived Sport Fishing Report
May 22, 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 opportunities 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.
• 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.
• Late break up on the Susitna has prevented many anglers from getting out. Reports are that the ice is beginning to move out near Deshka Landing, meaning the Susitna should be open soon.
• The department weir is now in operation on the Little Susitna River; counts may be found at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/FishCounts/. No kings have been counted through the first several days of operation. Ayrshire Rd out to the Little Susitna Public Use Facility remains wet and rutted due to the late spring conditions.
• The first of the season’s king salmon are expected to be caught on the Deshka River as soon as the Susitna is free of ice and navigable by boat.
• Fishing at the Eklutna Power Plant Tailrace generally picks up in early June, but an early king could be caught this weekend.
Trout, Dolly Varden, Grayling
• The mouths of the Parks Highway streams including Willow Creek and Montana Creek are starting to provide more action for rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, and grayling as streams continue to open up. Sheep Creek is still pretty locked up at the mouth and the Kashwitna is quite cloudy. Several streams are still low and shelf ice is prevalent.
• Rainbow trout are slow to move up-stream as the late breakup is slowing down movement; fish near the mouths of the Parks highway streams.
• Try fishing evening hours and be creative on your fly pattern choices. Rainbows are actively hitting egg patterns. Leeches, fry and nymph patterns may pick up a few rainbows too.
• 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 now spawning throughout much of the area 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.
• Valley lakes are beginning to open at a pretty good pace. Lakes with enough open water to fish include Loberg, Finger, Kepler/Bradley, Lucille, Canoe, Meirs, and Irene.
• The stocking truck will be rolling out today to stock Kepler/Bradley, Loberg, and Meirs. Lucille and Finger Lake will be stocked before the weekend, so expect these lakes to be filled with fish for the long weekend. Keep an eye on the web page to see if your favorite lake has been stocked.
• ADF&G does not monitor ice thickness; travel is at your own risk, use extreme caution.
• Hooligan should be available in the Susitna River once the river is navigable by boat and ice free.
• 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.
• Call the Hooligan hotline at 267-2515 for new information regarding the hooligan run.