Area Sport Fishing Reports

Archived Sport Fishing Report

May 01, 2014

Northern Cook Inlet area

Week of April 30 to May 6
Issued April 30, 2014

Emergency Orders and regulation reminders

• Anglers are reminded that flowing waters in the Palmer-Wasilla Zone are CLOSED to all fishing until June 14.
• Many flowing waters along the Parks Highway are catch-and-release only for rainbow trout until June 14.
• 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, 2014 in the Susitna River drainage (Units 1-6) and Little Susitna River:

o Only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure is allowed. Deshka River included.

o 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), Talachulitna River (Unit 4), 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.

o The Deshka River is open to king salmon harvest 7 days per week. King salmon harvest in the Yentna drainage (except Talachulitna River) is allowed 4 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. The Talachulitna River is restricted to catch-and-release 7 days per week.

o Harvest on the Little Susitna is allowed Saturdays-Mondays. King salmon harvest (of any size) is prohibited Tuesdays-Fridays; only catch-and-release fishing is allowed on these days.

o An annual limit of 2 king salmon over 20 inches applies to Susitna and Little Susitna drainages combined. King salmon that are intended to be released may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

o 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.

o The Eklutna Tailrace is excluded from all king salmon emergency order restrictions.

Fresh waters

• It is too early during this week for king salmon as the Susitna and Little Susitna drainages continue to break up. However, it is a good time to prepare boats and gear as king salmon will 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.

Trout, Dolly Varden, Grayling

• Rainbows overwintering in the Susitna River are starting to move around as the Susitna breaks up. Parks Highway streams including Willow Creek and streams to the north tend to become high and dirty with breakup; however, mouth areas should provide some action for rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, and grayling while the Susitna remains clear.
• Reminder, Deception Creek is closed to all fishing until June 15.

Northern Pike
• 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 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, Memory lakes.

Lake Fishing

• Valley Lakes are opening and fishing has been productive.
• Some of the ice free lakes include: Kepler/Bradley, Echo, Canoe, Irene, Meirs, Loberg, Finger, Lucile, Reed, Memory, and Wasilla Lakes.
• Lake stocking will commence next week, so stay tuned to the fish stocking web page-

Personal Use

• 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.