Area Sport Fishing Reports
Upper Copper/Upper Susitna
Archived Sport Fishing Report
August 02, 2023
Personal Use Fishing
- The Chitina Subdistrict Personal Use Dipnet Salmon Fishery will be open continuously through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, September 30.
- The Miles Lake sonar was shut down for the season on July 29. The final sonar count was 987,906 salmon, which is 379,450 greater than the 2023 inriver goal.
- Catch rates in the Chitina personal use dip net fishery have varied greatly during the latest high-water event, with catch rates dropping as the water rises.
- The Copper River water level is currently fluctuating around 16 feet at Chitina. Copper River water level near Chitina can be monitored online by NOAA/National Weather Service.
- Call the Chitina Personal Use Fishery Hotline at 907-822-5224 for more information on the Chitina dipnet fishery.
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.
- With sunny skies and the heat wave continuing, the best place to look for Arctic grayling will be in area lakes. Paxson Lake and Lake Louise provide the best opportunity, but some lakes along the Lake Louise Road and in Chitina may also prove productive. If you really want to hit the streams though, do so in the early morning hours or late in the evening.
Lake trout and burbot
- These hot days have probably driven lake trout and burbot into the deeper depths greater than 30 feet. Try trolling or mooching along deeper structure or drop offs. There could be some shallow water opportunity in the early mornings, like before the early bird even catches the worm.
The Little Tonsina River and the upper Klutina River are still good choices for Dollies. Anglers can also find success fishing along the Nabesna and McCarthy Roads; the fish may not be real big but they are plentiful. For smaller Dollies you can have a great time fishing the Tiekel River that runs along Richardson Highway on the way to Valdez.
- Sockeye salmon fishing has become spotty on the Klutina River due to high water fluctuations on the Copper River. There is still opportunity for some mid -August action though when the weather cools and the Copper River starts dropping.
- There is only one more week left in the Upper Copper River king salmon sport fishery.
- Fishing for king salmon on the Klutina and Tonsina Rivers remains good and should be productive through the end of the season. The Klutina River up to Mile 13 of Klutina Lake Road will remain open through August 10. The Tonsina River up to the Alyeska Pipeline bridge and the Copper River from the Klutina River to Haley Creek will remain open through August 10. The Chitina River drainage is open through Thursday, August 10 but see the special regulations inthe Northern Alaska Sport Fishing Regulation Summary for waters closed to king salmon fishing in this drainage.
- The possession limit for king salmon 20 inches or longer in length in the Upper Copper River drainage has been increased from 1 to 2 fish effective Thursday, July 20. The daily bag limit remains 1 king salmon per day. What this means is that if you harvest a king salmon one day and keep it in a cooler, you can harvest another king salmon the following day as well. If you fish a third day, you would need at least one of the two fish you already kept to be frozen, cooked or canned.
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.
- 7-18-2023 King salmon possesion limit increased in Upper Copper River drainage.
- 7-26-2023 Copper River Personal Use Dip Net Salmon Fishing Schedule for July 31 - September 30.
- Download the ADF&G Mobile App today. You can purchase and display your fishing license and king stamp, record your annual harvest (i.e. king salmon, halibut), access sport fishing regulations and locations, and so much more on your mobile device. You can also purchase your license and dipnetting permits online at the ADF&G online store.
- Also, 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.
For more information
For more information, please call the Glennallen office at (907) 822-3309.