Area Sport Fishing Reports
Mid-June sees the peak for fishing for hatchery-stocked king salmon in Ship Creek. Most fish are taken either during slack high tide or 1-2 hours before and after high tide. While most Ship Creek kings average 20-25 lbs., there are a few 50+ pounders available. Once the peak of the run has past, fishing continues to be fair through the season closure in July. Some of the more popular tackle includes large VibraxTM spinners, Spin-n-GlosTM, PixeesTM, yarn flies – some with fluorescent corkies, and fresh salmon roe.
The Ship Creek King Salmon Derby, which benefits the Downtown Soup Kitchen, takes place in early June. Check the local tackle shops or newspapers for more information.
Although angler success fishing for king salmon in Eagle River is often poor, it does represent a slim opportunity. Eagle River king fishing is weekend only (Saturday, Sunday and Monday) for three weekends in June. Check the regulation booklet for dates.
Bait is legal in both of these king salmon sport fisheries. Once you have harvested a king salmon, you must immediately record that harvest on the back of your fishing license, or on an ADF&G Annual Harvest Record Card (see the regulations). Also, once you harvest a king salmon from the Anchorage Management Area, you may not fish for any species of fish in waters open to king salmon fishing for the remainder of the day.
King and red (sockeye) salmon begin their annual migration up Campbell Creek in early-June. Anglers are reminded that except for a kids-only fishery, the entire Campbell Creek drainage is closed to king and red salmon sport fishing, including catch-and-release. Poaching is a big problem at Campbell Creek. Enforcement personnel from Fish and Wildlife Protection and Anchorage Police Department officers have beefed up their patrols along Campbell Creek as a result.
All other waters in the Anchorage area are closed to king salmon sport fishing year-round, including Bird Creek.
If you see any illegal fishing please call the Alaska State Troopers’ Fish and Wildlife Protection office (269-5954 or 269-5541), or the Fish and Wildlife Safeguard “Report Poachers” hotline (1-800-478-3377) or the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Southcentral Region Information Center (267-2218).
There’s a kids-only king salmon fishery on Campbell Creek in the last weekend of June. Only youth 15 or younger may fish in a special section of the creek, on Saturday and Sunday. Daily limit and harvest recording requirements apply. This is a great opportunity to teach kids how to fish for salmon, and there are often educational events as well.
Rainbows and Dolly Varden/Arctic Char — Flowing Waters
Rainbow trout and Dolly Varden fishing should be fair to good in Campbell Creek upstream of Dowling and fair in Chester Creek near Behm/APU Lake. Some rainbow anglers like to fish Ship Creek from Reeve Boulevard to Department markers upstream of the Chugach dam, but remember, this reach is no bait, single-hook, artificial lures only, and rainbow trout cannot be kept.
Upstream of the forks at Piper Street, Campbell Creek turns to unbaited, single-hook, artificial lures only, and rainbow trout cannot be kept in these waters.
Rainbows and Dollies often become less active as the sun climbs the sky. Best success is usually early in the morning, or later in the evening. Fish the deep pools, or the deeper channels.
June is an excellent month to try one of Anchorage’s stocked lakes. Rainbow trout from 8" to 12" provide good to excellent fishing in the early morning hours! Some lakes receive Arctic grayling, and some Arctic char. Small spinners and flies are effective (size 10 or 12), while the best baits include raw shrimp, salmon eggs, and worms. The lakes are a great opportunity to introduce a youngster (or oldster!) to fishing.
A free brochure with maps and area lake information is available at Department of Fish and Game offices. Also visit our stocked lakes maps and the fish stocking updates web pages.
Illegally-introduced northern pike are present in Lower Fire Lake. Pike have been eradicated from all other Anchorage area lakes that had confirmed reports of illegal introduction. There is no daily bag limit for pike and spears and bow and arrow are legal. Hunt for pike in shallow, weedy areas. As the water warms up, the pike become more lethargic, so pike anglers have better luck early in the morning and later in the evenings. Bait and multiple hooks are legal, and be sure to keep all the pike you catch. If it’s more than you can eat, check with your favorite charity to see if they would like to accept some fresh fish. Remember: it’s illegal to waste sport-caught fish.
Even though the Turnagain Arm hooligan run winds down by the end of the first week of June, fish should be available through the season closure of June 15 in the Twentymile River. Dippers are reminded that dipnetting in saltwater along Turnagain Arm closed May 31.
Only Alaska residents with a sport fishing license in possession can use a dipnet for hooligan. Dipping on the rising or flood tide usually produces the best results, and while a tide of at least 25 feet as measured at Anchorage is recommended, fish are available at any tide stage. Gillnets may not be used in Turnagain Arm. Use common sense while pursuing hooligan and do not venture out onto the mud flats.