Area Sport Fishing Reports

September Season


Silver salmon runs to Anchorage area streams wind down quickly in September. Best places to try are upstream on the Twentymile, Portage, and Placer river drainages. Best success is from boats, so if you plan on chasing ducks in the area, don’t put away your silver gear just yet.

Shore-based anglers should try Ship and Bird creeks, which will have small numbers of silvers trickling in until late September. At Ship Creek the best time to catch September silvers appears to be at the start of the outgoing tide. In Bird Creek, sight fishing with eggs or large spinners produces the best catches.

Remember that the upper reaches of Twentymile, Glacier, and Carmen rivers, an un-named slough on lower Portage Creek, as well as portions of Lower Explorer and Skookum creeks closed to sport fishing July 14. This seasonal closure protects spawning silver salmon. Placer Creek in Bear Valley (near the Whittier tunnel) is closed year-round to salmon fishing, but open year-round to for all other species. Consult the regulation booklet before heading out to fish these areas and know where you are when you’re fishing.

Depending on the weather, the Campbell Creek silver salmon fishery is a fair try for September. Low, clear water conditions and warm, sunny days often spook the Campbell Creek silvers. Best silver fishing usually happens after rainy weather, when water temperatures drop, and water levels rise. Look for deep holes, and drift your lure or bait through the hole. Most fishing effort takes place downstream of Dowling Blvd. to the Dimond Blvd. bridge. This fishery will close at midnight, September 30.

In the Anchorage area, the bag limit for salmon 16" or longer (other than kings) is three per day and in possession. On Ship, Bird, and Campbell creeks, all three salmon may be silvers. On all other streams open to silver salmon fishing, which include portions of Eklutna River, Eagle River, Glacier Creek, California Creek, Twentymile River, Portage Creek, and the Placer River drainages, only 2 of your 3 may be silvers. King salmon sport fishing is closed.

Rainbow Trout/Dolly Varden - Flowing Waters

When weather and water conditions are perfect — not too muddy from recent rains, and not too hot — rainbow trout and Dolly Varden fishing on Campbell Creek can be excellent. Remember that upstream of the forks near Piper Street, it's catch-and-release only for rainbows, and you can use only single-hook, unbaited, artificial lures.

Lake Fishing

The Anchorage area stocked lakes are consistent producers of fun fishing! As the weather cools, lake fishing usually gets better and better, offering an alternative to shoulder-to-shoulder salmon angling. Fall fishing in local stocked lakes can be pretty lonely as effort generally tapers off this time of the year. Fly-fishing from a float tube in local stocked lakes will produce some nice rainbows. Several local lakes are also stocked with Arctic char. To discover what is stocked in local lakes, check our website page containing directions to stocked lakes, bathymetric maps of stocked lakes and the stocking history of each lake. Best baits are usually single salmon eggs or fresh shrimp. Small spinners and flies are also very effective.

Northern Pike

Northern pike were illegally introduced into Sand, Cheney, Campbell, Otter, and Lower Fire lakes but have been eradicated from all but Lower Fire Lake . There is no limit on pike in the Anchorage area. Along with rod and reel, bow and arrow and spears are legal. If you hunt pike with a bow, the arrow must be attached to the bow. Anglers pursuing pike with rod and reel are encouraged to target pike, but remember, both snagging and wasting pike is illegal. Effective lures include top-water "poppers" and "buzz baits." Your best bet for pike in the Anchorage area now is Lower Fire lakes. For some good pike recipes and information on how to filet pike check out the “Pike Page” on our website.

Folks who are dumping pike into local lakes are a real threat to your recreational fisheries. Anyone with any information on illegal stockings is encouraged to contact Fish and Wildlife Safeguard at 1-800-478-3377 or the State Troopers’ Fish and Wildlife Protection at (907) 269-5954 or 269-5541.