Area Sport Fishing Reports

Archived Sport Fishing Report

May 07, 2014

Northern Cook Inlet area

Week of May 7 to May 13
Issued May 7, 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 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


• 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 are providing action for rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, and Arctic grayling. Rainbows are starting to move around as waters rise and warm. Try the mouths and lower sections of these streams.
• Remember that Deception Creek is closed to all fishing until June 15.
• Try beads and flesh patterns for these hungry fish.

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 now spawning and may be found congregated in shallow, grassy waters. This is good time to target pike with a bow or spear. Nancy Lake canoe system and Big Lake along the shore lines and near outlets may prove productive for bow or 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. Chunks of herring work well, as do whole sardines and hooligan.
• For road-accessible pike fishing try the Nancy Lake Recreation Area lakes and Big, Prator, Memory lakes.
• Take a spring boat trip on the Susitna and try fishing the side channel sloughs of the Deshka River, Fish Creek (Kroto Slough), or Moose or Indian creeks on the Yentna River.

Lake Fishing

• Valley Lakes are opening in the Palmer/Wasilla area and fishing has been productive.
• Fishing has been good on Finger, Memory, Reed, Kepler/Bradley, Echo, Meirs, Loberg, Canoe, and Long Lakes.
• Nancy Lakes are still frozen; normal break up for this system is mid-May.
• Lakes are beginning to be stocked, 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.