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Alaska Department of Fish and Game

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Area Sport Fishing Reports

May 24, 2017

Week of May 24 to May 30

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 in the Susitna River drainage (Units 1-6) and Little Susitna River:
    • Only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure is allowed, except 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 River 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 River 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. Please review the applicable regulations in the 2017 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet.
    • Anglers are reminded that a regulation passed by the Board in 2014 impacting boat motor use on the Little Susitna River is in 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 are being reported caught each morning at the mouth of the Deshka River. Fishing should improve this weekend, especially if the rain continues. Remember bait is not allowed until June 1. Water conditions are low and caution should be used if navigating upstream of the mouth area.
  • The Little Susitna River is also seeing several kings caught each day. Water conditions remain low.
  • The Little Susitna River and Deshka River weirs are in operation; fish counts are available online.
  • No kings have been reported yet at the Eklutna Tailrace, but are expected any day now.

Trout, Dolly Varden, Grayling

  • Parks Highway streams from Willow north to Talkeetna are providing good rainbow trout and arctic grayling fishing. Try fishing fly patterns with a beaded head or a leech pattern.
  • 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 River 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

  • The stocking truck has been extremely busy moving fish this week. Lake fishing is of course, excellent.
  • If you are looking for a camping adventure and want to catch some fish, try a few of the lakes with campgrounds. Several State Park locations have camping and stocked lakes, including; Matanuska Lake, Finger Lake, Rocky Lake, and South Rolly Lake.
  • Other camping opportunities on stocked lakes include: Lucille Lake, Kepler-Bradley Lakes. Limited un-improved camping locations include Long Lake (mile 86), Knob Lake, and North Knob Lake.

Personal Use

  • Hooligan fishing has slowed and the run appears to be winding down. Try the lower Yentna River and dip them while you can.
  • You must hold a 2017 Alaskan resident sport fishing license or a ADF&G senior license or ADF&G Disabled Veteran’s license in order dipnet for hooligan. You may take as many hooligan as you will use.


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May 24, 2017 May 17, 2017 May 10, 2017 May 04, 2017