Division of Sport Fish
Dave Rutz, Director

Anchorage Headquarters Office
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, AK 99518

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Doug Vincent-Lang, Commissioner

P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526

Advisory Announcement
(Released: September 24, 2020)

CONTACT: Heather Scannell
Area Management Biologist
(907) 459-7357

Bear and Moose Lakes Restricted to Catch-and-Release

(Fairbanks) – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is restricting Bear and Moose lakes, located on Eielson Air Force Base (EAFB), to catch-and-release sport fishing only for all fish species effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, September 26, 2020. All fish species caught in these lakes may not be retained and must be released immediately.

This past summer, EAFB personnel and private contractors tested water quality in Bear and Moose lakes, and surface waters from both lakes exceeded EPA and DEC lifetime health advisory levels of 70 ppt (parts per trillion) for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). In lakes, these types of contaminants become magnified in the flesh of fish through a process called bioaccumulation. For instance, PFAS levels in Kimberly Lake in North Pole were 24 ppt; however, fish tested from the same lake had PFAS levels ranging from 47,000-68,000 ppt. Although, to date, no fish have been tested from either Bear or Moose lakes, water quality levels of PFAS, coupled with the potential for bioaccumulation, warrant a catch-and-release-only restriction.

Unfortunately, catch-and-release fishing does not allow harvest or consumption of the fish. However, there are dozens of lakes in the Fairbanks area that provide the opportunity to harvest fish. Anglers who would like to target fish for consumption can reference pages 41-42 of the department’s Northern Alaska Sport Fishing Regulation Summary for a listing of the stocked lakes in the Tanana River drainage or call the Fairbanks office of ADF&G (907) 459-7207 for a list of lakes in the area. The department will continue to work with EAFB leadership to identify additional local opportunities for sport anglers.

For additional information contact Heather Scannell, Tanana Area Management Biologist, (907) 459-7357.

For information specific to ground and surface water contaminants, please contact the Department of Environmental Conservation or visit their website at https://dec.alaska.gov/spar/csp.