Area Sport Fishing Reports
Upper Copper/Upper Susitna

Archived Sport Fishing Report

May 23, 2023

ADF&G News

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Personal Use Fishing

  • The Chitina Subdistrict personal use salmon fishery on the Copper River is set to open on Wednesday, June 7 but will likely be delayed due to late-run timing. The high cold water on the Copper River is slowing entry of salmon into the river so expect a later start to the season.

Informational Hotlines for Chitina Personal Use Fishery

  • Glennallen: 907-822-5224

Sport Fishing

Resident freshwater species

  • Spring arrived late in the Copper River Basin. Most bigger lakes, such as Lake Louise, Paxson, Summit and Crosswind Lakes remain frozen Paxson Lake may not open until mid-June this year.
  • All rivers and streams are flowing and most are running high with snow melt. You may still find some migrating Arctic grayling in the streams that aren't blown out due to high, muddy, water.
  • Most stocked lakes around Chitina are open and the fish are hungry so now is a good time to tempt them with some shrimp, salmon eggs or other tasty morsels. Other small lakes in the area still have ice on them, but should start opening up next week.
  • While you wait for the rivers and lakes to open up, you can research new spots to fish. For a guide to where all the accessible fisheries are, check out Sport fishing Alaska rivers and lakes in the Upper Copper/Upper Susitna River Basin. This guide lists all the fisheries, species available and mile markers along all the major highways crossing the Upper Copper and Upper Susitna Area.


  • The 2023 Copper River forecast is 1.6 million wild and hatchery sockeye salmon combined, and 53,000 king salmon. The in-river goal for the number of salmon passing the Miles Lake sonar is 608,000–998,000 salmon. This goal ensures sufficient salmon for spawning escapement, subsistence, personal use and sport fishing needs, and hatchery brood stock. As noted above, the high cold water on the Copper River is slowing entry of salmon into the river so expect a late start to the season.
  • The Miles Lake sonar counter has not yet been installed due to continued ice flow from Miles Lake. Staff are hoping to have the sonar up and running late this week.

Emergency Orders

Please review the Emergency Orders and Advisory Announcements listed at the top of this report in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip.

Press Release

Check out ADF&G's new gofishak interactive map to discover popular fishing locations and information on species run timing, fishing gear selections, and boat and angler access tips.

Don’t forget to bring your 2023 sport fishing license. You can purchase your sport fishing license at the ADF&G Online Store and print it off from the comfort of your home. Also, be sure to review Emergency Orders and the 2023 Northern Sport Fishing Regulations Summary Booklet for the area you are fishing in before you head out.

For more information

Call the Glennallen office at (907) 822-3309 with any questions.


Upper Copper Upper Susitna Area Archives for:
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