Area Sport Fishing Reports
October through February Season
Don't forget: your fishing license expires Dec. 31! A sport fishing license makes a great gift - one that lasts all year. (Neither the ADF&G Permanent ID license nor the ADF&G Disabled Veteran's license expire.)
The sport fishing regulations are good through April 15 of the new year. Look for new booklets around March or early April.
ADF&G does not monitor ice thickness, ice thickness can vary widely from system to system. By mid-November, some lakes may have 5 inches of ice, and some only 1 inch. If you are unsure of the ice thickness, punch a hole near shore and measure before venturing farther on lake ice. Always play it safe. Once lake ice is safe enough for travel (6 inches of clear ice for foot traffic), ice fishing is usually great on the area's many stocked lakes.
* For ice conditions on Municipality of Anchorage lakes, call Municipality Parks and Recreation at (907) 343-4474.
* For lake ice and snow pack conditions on Fort Richardson Army Base, try (907) 384-2744
* For lake ice and snow pack conditions on Elmendorf Air Force Base, try (907) 552-2282 or 2436.
* For ice and snow pack conditions in Chugach State Park, call (907) 345-5014.
About a dozen Anchorage area lakes are stocked with catchable-sized Chinook salmon for winter ice fishing, and many lakes still have good populations of rainbows left from summer stocking. Some of the local area lakes stocked for ice fishing include: Beach, Campbell Point (Kincaid Park), Clunie, Delong, Jewel, Mirror and Sand Lakes. Many of these lakes are also stocked during the summer with other popular fish, like grayling, Arctic Char and lake trout to provide anglers with an opportunity catch different species. Anglers can check the status of lake stocking by using the stocking database on our website. The stocked lake database used on our Internet site is usually updated on Thursdays, so check back each Friday to get the latest information. The web pages also have links to maps of the area's stocked lakes, showing the contours of the labeled. Stocked lakes are also listed in the regulation booklet.
Lake Fishing: Rainbow Trout
Unless an Emergency Order has been issued, the limit for rainbow trout in stocked lakes and streams is 5 fish per day, and only 1 trout can be over 20 inches. You may have 5 unpreserved rainbow trout in your possession. These fish are typically more difficult to catch through the ice, but fishing improves during the lengthening days of spring.
Lake Fishing: Landlocked Salmon
These fish are stocked specifically for the winter ice fishery. They are typically about eight inches in length and feed aggressively all winter. Children as young as 2 and 3 years old can these fish. The easiest way to catch these fish is to suspend a small baited jig 5 to 10 feet below a bobber, then move the jig up and down. Fresh shrimp, canned clams, and single salmon eggs work the best as bait. Avoid using corn or other vegetables as bait - these fish cannot quickly digest these items, which will block the digestive tract and slowly kill the fish. The limit for catchable salmon in stocked lakes is 5 fish per day, and you may have only 5 unpreserved landlocked salmon in your possession.
Lake Fishing: Arctic Char
Sand and Campbell Point lakes are both stocked with catchable-sized Arctic char, about 8 to 10 inches long. Sometimes, however, a small number of excess “brood” char are also stocked into these two lakes. These brood char are usually about 24 inches long. These fish are also feeding all winter and can be caught by jigging a baited lure just off the bottom of the lake. Swedish Pimples, and Castmaster-like jigs baited with cured salmon eggs are popular char lures. The limit for Dolly Varden/Arctic Char in stocked lakes is 5 per day/5 in possession.
Every year, ice-fishing anglers are ticketed for having more than their daily limit of fish. Don’t be a statistic! It’s 5 trout and 10 salmon and 5 char per day, NOT PER LAKE/STREAM!
Only 2 trout per person per day may be kept from lakes or streams that are not stocked.
Introduced Species: Northern Pike
Pike fishing success is great during ice fishing season on Lower Fire Lake. All other Anchorage lakes have been eradicated of pike as they are an introduced species. Jig bright, shiny lures, or swing your decoy. Spearing through a hole in the ice is legal. These fish also become more active during the winter as the days get longer. Females preparing to spawn in the spring feed readily and catch rates tend to increase during the late winter. We appreciate all your help in controlling this illegally introduced species. There is no bag limit for northern pike in Anchorage area waters. If you catch one in any Anchorage area lake besides Lowere Fire Lake, please notify ADF&G Invasive Species Division. If you don’t want to use the pike you catch, we suggest contacting a local charity to see if they would appreciate a donation of fresh fish. Many pike recipes can be found on the Internet. ADF&G also has a handout with two recipes, as well as pike fishing tips and a listing of all known or suspected pike waters.
People who are dumping pike into local waterways are a real threat to your recreational fisheries. Anyone with any information on illegal stockings is encouraged to contact Fish and Wildlife Safeguard at 1-800-478-3377 or State Troopers' Fish and Wildlife Protection at (907) 269-5954 or 269-5541.
Stream Fishing: Rainbow Trout/Dolly Varden - Flowing Waters
Ice fishing for rainbow trout and Dolly Varden on Campbell Creek (or any other Anchorage area flowing water) is highly dependent on location. Campbell Creek trout and Dollies probably overwinter in Campbell Lake, which is closed to all fishing. If you know of a deep pool or beaver pond upstream from Campbell Lake, you can try there. Upstream of the forks near Piper Street, no bait is allowed, and you must use single hooks - no treble hooks or multiple hooks. Also upstream of the forks, Campbell Creek is catch-and-release only for rainbows. Daily limits are the same as for stocked lakes October through February.