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Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Area Sport Fishing Reports

September 01, 2015

Regulation Reminders

  • In Anchorage Bowl drainages a coho salmon 16 inches or greater in length that is removed from the water must be retained and becomes part of the bag limit of the person originally hooking it; a person may not remove a coho salmon from the water before releasing the fish.
  • Bird Creek from its mouth to an ADF&G marker, is now open to fishing (except king salmon) starting July 14 – December 31. The remainder of the Bird Creek drainage is closed to salmon fishing and the entire drainage is always closed to king salmon fishing.
  • A portion of Campbell Creek (See map on page 51 of Southcentral sport fishing is open to coho fishing as of July 14.
  • Ship Creek is closed for king fishing. Ship Creek from its mouth to the marker near the Chugach Power plant dam is open to fishing (except king salmon). Fishermen are reporting below average catches of silver salmon in Ship Creek. In Ship Creek, the bag limit of coho salmon (16 inch or longer) is 3 per day, 3 in possession.
  • Symphony Lake is open to fishing as of July 1. The bag limit is 5 fish per day, 5 in possession, only 1 fish per day may be greater than 12 inches in length.
  • For additional information about regulations in the Anchorage Area look in the 2015 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulation Summary.

Emergency Order Currently in Effect

  • No. 2-RT-2-16-15 - Otter Lake (JBER) This emergency order increases the bag limit and possession limit for rainbow/steelhead trout in Otter Lake, located on Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER) to 10 fish with no size limit. There continues to be no bag, possession, or size limits for northern pike. This emergency order is effective from 12:01 a.m. Friday, May 22 through 11:59 p.m. Friday September 25, 2015. Water levels in the lake are being lowered prior to treatment and so fish may be more condensed and easier to get to.
  • For additional information about sport fishing emergency orders and news releases:

Stream Fishing

Salmon Fishing

  • All waters in the Anchorage Management Area are closed to king salmon fishing. Please immediately release any king salmon that is hooked while fishing for other species. These spawning salmon are attracting bears, so if you need to travel in these areas be bear aware.
  • Silver salmon have arrived to many of the streams. Look in the sport fishing regulations to verify bag and possession limits for each particular stream.
  • Sections of Campbell Creek are open for silver fishing, but fishing has been slow as of late with the lack of rain and resulting low and clear water. If you do plan on fishing Campbell, you should head out early and expect to have to sneak up on fish
  • People are still reporting silver salmon being caught in Ship Creek and Bird Creek, but things are definitely slowing down. Don’t forget to check the tide level when planning your trip. Both of these systems are heavily influenced by tides. Many fishermen are having the best success on the transitional times i.e. as the tide is coming in or as the tide is headed out. All king salmon caught incidentally need to be released immediately.
  • The lower section of Bird Creek is open to salmon fishing, salmon other than king salmon that is. Upstream of the regulatory markers is closed to all salmon fishing. Fishermen watching the tide and putting in the effort are finding silvers after they filter through the pink salmon. Bears have also been reported in the lower sections of Bird Creek. So be bear aware and cautious when fishing in bear country.
  • Pink, chum, and an occasional silver salmon are also arriving to other Turnagain Arm streams. Silver fishing in Twenty Mile River is getting better and should last a bit… this is typically a longer, more drawn out run of fish. It is a great time to finish up the Five Salmon Family Challenge.


  • Campbell Creek, Chester Creek, and portions of Ship Creek are open to trout fishing. Campbell Creek and Chester Creek have both been stocked with rainbows. Ship Creek is not stocked with rainbow trout. Trout are congregating higher in the system behind spawning salmon. The spawning salmon are also starting to attract bears. Be careful when traveling in bear country and leave the king salmon alone.
  • Ship Creek, from 100 feet above the Chugach Power Dam to Reeve Blvd Bridge, is open to catch and release rainbow trout fishing only. No retention of rainbow trout/ steelhead trout is allowed. Please do not pester the spawning Chinook salmon. Please immediately release any king salmon that is hooked while fishing for other species.

Lake Fishing

  • The Anchorage-area lakes have fallen off many peoples radar with salmon fishing on people’s minds. Fishing continues to be good in most lakes, although fishermen are having better success during cooler times of the day, i.e. early in the morning or late at night. During these periods the fish are more actively feeding, although fish are still being caught throughout the day.
  • Fishermen have been doing well from the shore, but many fishermen are increasing their catches by getting away from the easily accessible parts of the lake by either using a canoe or float tube. If you do go out in a boat make sure to be safe and wear a life jacket. After boating and before you go into another lake or stream please reduce the transmission of invasive species by cleaning, draining, drying, and decontaminating your boat and gear.
  • For more details about when a lake was stocked last look online at the Fish Stocking Update.
  • Symphony Lake is open to fishing as of July 1. Fishing was hit or miss depending on the weather. When the weather was nice, sunny, the fish had a tendency to be further out in the lake. Increased cloud cover brought the fish closer to the shore. If you have light waders or a pack raft this will increase ability to access the fish a little further in the lake. The bag limit for grayling in Symphony Lake is 5 fish per day and 5 in possession, only 1 fish per day may be greater than 12 inches in length. We have also had reports of anglers leaving trash around the lake. If you hike it in please take it with you when you hike out.

Northern Pike

  • We have had very few reports of pike fishing in the Anchorage Area. The Matsu area has many lakes where fishermen are still finding reliable pike numbers.
  • Lower Fire Lake or Otter Lake on base is the closest place to find a few Northern Pike in the Anchorage Area. In both of these lakes small pike can be found with a little effort.
  • Late evening hours are a good time to spear pike, or to shoot them with bow and arrow.
  • Pike are fun to fly fish for using frog, mouse and duckling patterns.
  • A reminder, if you are bow-fishing for pike, the arrow has to be attached to a string and the string to your bow.

Helpful definitions

  • “bag limit” means the maximum number of animals of anyone game species a person may take in a unit or portion of a unit in which the taking occurs
  • “possession limit” means prepared for immediate consumption or prepared in such a manner, and in an existing state of preservation, as to be fit for human consumption after a 15-day period.