Area Sport Fishing Reports
Upper Copper/Upper Susitna
Archived Sport Fishing Report
June 23, 2023
The Glennallen ADF&G office offers a free fishing rod loaner program. The office has rods suitable for fishing stocked lakes and resident species such as Arctic grayling, northern pike and salmon. Resident anglers 18 and older and non-resident anglers 16 and older must have a current Alaska sportfishing license to sign out a rod. This is a first-come, first-served program and fishing rods cannot be reserved. For more information, check out the Rod Loaner Program web page at or call the Glennallen ADF&G office at 907-822-3309.
Personal Use Fishing
- The Chitina Subdistrict Personal Use Dipnet Salmon Fishery is currently open through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, June 25. The fishery will be closed on Monday, June 26 and will reopen at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, June 27 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 2.
- Miles Lake sonar numbers are quickly rising and catching up to preseason projections. During June 12 – 18, there were 82,503 salmon counted past the Miles Lake sonar. The preseason projection for this period was 64,196 salmon, resulting in a surplus of 18,307 salmon. The preseason projection for cumulative sonar passage through June 22 is 396,085 salmon, while the actual cumulative passage through June 22 is 353,309 salmon.
- Water level in the Copper River is high and the water is continuing to rise almosot one-half a foot a day as of Friday likely due to high-elevation snow melt. Fishing is reported to be very slow with the high water levels.
- The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities is advising dipnetters not to travel across the O'Brien Creek Bridge due to to erosion caused by high water in the creek. DOT is assessing the creek and bridge for options for repair but no work will begin until the water receeds enough to get equipment across the creek, which probably won't be until next week.
- Depending on water levels, it generally takes fish about two weeks to reach the dip net fishery from the sonar counter and longer if water levels are rising like they are. Call the Chitina Personal Use Fishery Hotline at 907-822-5224 for more information on the Chitina dipnet fishery.
Resident freshwater species
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.
Arctic grayling: Try fishing some smaller lakes and their outlets. Near-shore fishing in the larger lakes like Lake Louise and Paxson Lake should also be productive. If stream fishing, find those upper stream sections where the water is coldest to find the really big fish.
Lake trout and burbot: By now these species will be running deep as the surface waters are warming fast. In deeper lakes fish below the thermocline or along deeper ledges.
- Dolly Varden: The Little Tonsina River and the upper Klutina River are always a good choice for Dollies. Also fish along the Nabesna and McCarthy Roads. For smaller Dollies you can have a great time fishing the Tiekel River which runs along Richardson Highway on the way to Valdez.
- Sockeye salmon: Sockeye are moving into the Klutina in ever larger numbers. Fishing should be good to excellent through the remainder of June. The river conditions are near perfect for targeting these fish. Also try the Gulkana River for sockeye. They are more of a challenge there, but worth the effort.
- King salmon: Copper River King salmon are returning in good numbers this year. Kings are being caught in the Gulkana River below Sourdough despite some muddy water conditions. Fish are distributed throughout the river so heading upstream above the West Fork will also provide some good angling opportunity for kings. Remember the Klutina River is closed to king salmon fishing until July 1.
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. Also, be sure to review the 2023 Northern Sport Fishing Regulations Summary Booklet for the area you are fishing before you head out.
For more information, please call the Glennallen office at (907) 822-3309.