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Sport Fish Area Fishing Report
September - October
• An emergency order is in effect, closing all waters within the Knik Arm management unit to fishing for coho (“silver”) salmon, except for Fish Creek and the Eklutna Tailrace. Popular fisheries affected by this emergency order include the Little Susitna River and Jim, Cottonwood, and Wasilla creeks. At the Little Susitna River, anglers are reminded that bait is not allowed through September 30.
• Coho salmon 16 inches long or longer once removed from fresh water must be retained and become part of the bag limit of the person who originally hooked the fish. A person may not remove a coho salmon 16 inches or longer from the water before releasing it.
• Starting September 1, only unbaited single hooks are allowed in most of the Mat-Su valley flowing waters, Parks Highway streams, and in the West Cook Inlet area flowing waters.
• Little Susitna from the mouth upstream to the Parks Highway, only unbaited, artificial lures are allowed beginning October 1.
• Long Lake in the Kepler-Bradley system, Wishbone Lake near Sutton, and X Lake near Talkeetna close to all fishing for the rest of the year on November 1.
• Only catch-and-release fishing for rainbows and grayling is allowed year-round in Montana Creek. In Willow Creek, rainbow trout may not be retained downstream of the Parks Highway bridge.
• The best success for coho salmon this time of year comes from the Talkeetna River and nearby streams, such as Sunshine and Rabideux creeks.
• Willow Creek, Montana Creek and the Eklutna Power Plant Tailrace also usually see late coho trickling in through mid-September.
• Through mid-September, coho can be found in the tributaries and sloughs of the Yentna and Skwentna rivers. Most anglers try at Moose, Indian, Bottle, or Hewitt creeks. Expect slow fishing.
• Rainbow trout fishing should be good to excellent in area streams through freeze-up. Look for rainbows where silver salmon are spawning- about mid September through early October. Trout will be gorging on salmon eggs and flesh. As water levels drop trout can become more concentrated in lower reaches of many Susitna tributaries during late fall.
• Keep in mind that single-hook, no bait restrictions are in place for many of the flowing waters.
• With the cooler temperatures of fall approaching, Mat-Su Valley lakes provide excellent fishing as fish become much more active, and feed in shallower water. A stocked lake handout is available from Department of Fish and Game offices in Palmer and Anchorage, and on the web page (see “Helpful Links,” below), to assist you in finding good angling opportunities and public access.
• ADF&G does not monitor ice thickness. For ice and snow pack conditions on state lands, call Alaska State Parks in Palmer at (907) 745-3975.
• Finger, Kepler/Bradley, Matanuska, and Knik lakes were stocked with large brood rainbow trout.
• Lakes stocked with landlocked salmon are Matanuska, Finger, Kalmbach, Knik, Loberg and Klaire.
• Arctic char are stocked in Benka, Finger, Irene, Long, Marion, Matanuska, and Seventeenmile lakes.
• Along the Glenn Highway Northeast of Palmer, Lower Bonnie, Seventeenmile, Long, Ravine, and Knob Lakes all have rainbow trout.
• If it's Arctic grayling you're looking for, try Canoe, Reed, Finger, Florence, Knik, Meirs, Lorraine, and Kepler/Bradley lakes.
• Lake trout fishing can be a lot of fun in the fall and after ice-up try Byers, Chelatna, Clarence, Larson, Redshirt, or Long Lake (mile 86 Glenn HWY).
• Pike fishing success will continue to improve until freeze up.
• For road-accessible pike fishing, try South Rolly, Nancy, Tanaina, and Memory lakes.
• Anglers may now fish for pike on Nancy and Big lakes using 5 lines beginning November 1, so long as specific stipulations found on page 35 of the regulation summary are followed.
• For fly-in pike fishing, it's hard to beat Alexander and Trapper lakes.
• Pike are also to be found in Sucker, Donkey and Eightmile lakes.
• For river fishing, try the sloughs of the Yentna and Susitna rivers.