(Released: January 07, 2019 - Expired: July 13, 2019)

Division of Sport Fish
Tom Taube, Acting Director
Anchorage Headquarters Office
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, AK 99518

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Doug Vincent-Lang, Acting Commissioner
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526

Contact: Sam Ivey, Area Management Biologist
(907) 746-6300

Susitna River Drainage Closed to King Salmon Fishing

(Palmer) – In favor of protecting returning king salmon and ensuring fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation closure for Units 1-6 of the Susitna River drainage effective 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, May 1 through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, July 13, 2019. King salmon fishing is closed in all waters of the Susitna River drainages and may not be targeted by anglers. King salmon caught incidentally may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

During the closure, sport fishing gear is limited to one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure when fishing in Units 1-6 of the Susitna River drainage in those waters normally open to king salmon fishing. Sport fishing for other species will be allowed seven days per week from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. This includes the waters within Unit 2 that are normally closed on certain days during the king salmon season. For a complete description of these waters, anglers should refer to pages 20-37 in the 2019 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations booklet.

“Last season king salmon stocks in the North Cook Inlet experienced a weak run of king salmon, as did most of Alaska. An exceptionally low run is expected again this season due to a poor showing of 5- and 6-year old fish,” stated Area Management Biologist Sam Ivey. “Alaskans know every fish counts towards achieving our escapement goals and providing a sustainable fishery for our future. ADF&G staff understands the frustrations and tremendous impact closing this fishery down has on anglers, local businesses, and guides. Nonetheless, ADF&G has a duty to protect, maintain, and improve our sport fisheries, and even with these restrictions, we will likely not meet our escapement goals.”

In conjunction with this closure, an additional sport fishing emergency order number 2-KS-2-06-19 closes king salmon fishing and implements tackle restrictions in all waters of the Little Susitna River from its mouth upstream to the Parks Highway Bridge. In addition, directed king salmon commercial fishing in the Northern District of Upper Cook Inlet will also be closed for the 2019 season (May 27, and June 3, 10, 17, and 24).

The 2019 Deshka River King Salmon Forecast can be found on the Northern Cook Inlet Management Area webpage under Annual Run Outlook. For additional information, please contact Area Management Biologist Sam Ivey at (907) 746-6300.