Area Sport Fishing Reports
June is the “king salmon month” in the Northern Cook Inlet area.
By early June, king salmon begin to move into the clear water streams of the Susitna River drainage. This early, highest catch rates are usually from Alexander Creek, Deshka River and the Little Susitna River. By the second week of June, kings may also be as far as the Yentna and the Talachulitna. By the third week of June, a few kings are caught at the mouth of Willow Creek. As June wears on, king fishing improves in the Parks Highway streams. Willow, Little Willow, Sheep, Caswell, Birch, Goose, Grey's, Kashwitna, and Montana Creeks downstream of their Parks Highway bridges, and the lower quarter mile of Rabideux, Sunshine, and Trapper creeks are popular places to try.
Willow Creek and the other Parks Highway roadside streams are open to king fishing from Jan. 1 through the third Monday in June, and then the following two weekends. When fishing is open, it is allowed 24-hours-per-day. A weekend is Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Check the regulations carefully.
The Little Susitna River continues to produce fair to good catches of king salmon through June, with most of the fishing occurring from the Little Susitna Public Use Facility upstream to the Parks Highway. By late June, fishing is good near the Parks Highway bridge.
Peak fishing at the mouth of the Deshka River is usually between June 8 and 15. After that, fish are still available if you are willing to travel upstream. The Deshka River is open to the retention of king salmon for the first 19 miles, which is indicated by a marker at Chijuk Creek. A word of caution:there is a weir at river mile 7. Please slow down when crossing the weir. If you are uncomfortable running your boat over the weir a fishery technician will be available to guide you. Weir counts are available on our web pages.
By mid-June, the mouth of Alexander Creek is winding down. A few kings may still be passing through the lower river. Fishing is allowed in the first seven miles as indicated by a marker at Trail Creek.
In mid-June, catch rates should be good at Lake Creek (Yentna), but expect to share the holes with lots of anglers. Try fishing some of the smaller tributaries and sloughs off the Yentna and Skwentna rivers: Moose Creek, Indian Creek, Fish Lake Creek, Hewitt Creek, Eight-Mile Creek and Canyon Creek. The Talachulitna River may also provide fair fishing by mid-June. Remember: Lake Creek is a fast water system with lots of sweepers. Only about the first three miles of this system are boatable, so exercise extreme caution when boating upstream of the mouth.
By mid-June, kings are caught at Clear Creek off the Talkeetna River, although this run usually doesn't peak until the last week in June.
As for the West Cook Inlet streams, the Theodore River is open to catch-and-release king fishing and should provide plenty of action by mid-June, once water levels settle from high country melt-off. The Chuit River is also a popular destination. Remember: the king salmon season closes for the West Cook Inlet streams on June 30.
The general area king salmon fishing regulations, which establish a five fish seasonal limit and prohibit the use of bait remain in effect. Anglers must record all king salmon harvests on the back of their fishing license or on their harvest record card.
Rainbow Trout - Flowing Waters
Flowing waters in the Palmer-Wasilla Zone do not open to fishing until June 15. The westside Susitna tributary streams, and the Parks Highway roadside streams from Willow Creek on north are open to fishing, but in waters where retention is allowed, rainbow trout cannot be retained until June 15.
Once fishing does open, rainbow trout and grayling are available in the majority of these drainages. These streams are often a fly-fishers paradise, if you can hike above the king salmon anglers and do a good roll cast.
Remember, only catch-and-release fishing is allowed year-round when fishing for rainbow trout and grayling on Montana and Willow drainages.
In June, those Mat-Su lakes that are scheduled for stocking have been stocked with beautiful rainbow trout and grayling. Check the web pages for the latest info on where the stocking truck has been. There is a listing of stocked lakes in the regulation booklet. Remember the limit for rainbow trout in stocked lakes is 5 fish per day (of which only one may be over 20 inches).
Only 2 trout may be harvested in lakes having native trout populations. A stocked lake handout is available from Department of Fish and Game offices in Palmer and Anchorage to assist you in finding good angling opportunities.
Pike are generally found in shallow water areas. Water temperatures in these shallow areas tend to be fairly warm throughout the day. As the water warms, pike become lethargic and are usually off the bite. For better success, try fishing for pike early mornings or late evenings. Try top water weedless lures and flies in the heavily vegetated bays and sloughs.
In June, pike fishing continues to be good although the spawning event is over for the year. For road accessible pike fishing try the Nancy Lake Canoe System lakes, or Memory, Long, and Prator lakes. River anglers can try the slow side sloughs of Willow Creek. For fly-in pike fishing try Hewitt, Whiskey, Figure Eight, Vern and Donkey, Alexander, Eightmile and Sucker lakes.
There is a slot limit in Alexander Lake. Anglers can retain all pike less than 22 inches in length, pike between 22 inches and 30 inches may not be retained, and only one pike greater than 30 inches may be retained daily and be in possession. Anglers may not use bow and arrows and spears to harvest northern pike in Alexander Lake. A handout describing the Pike Fisheries in the Mat-Su area is available at department offices in Anchorage and Palmer.
By early June, the Susitna River Hooligan run is well under way. Excellent catches are reported in the Yentna River and in the Susitna River upstream of the Yentna-Susitna confluence. Fishing should continue to be fair through the closure June 15. If you don't have access to a boat try the Susitna River just downstream of the mouth of Willow Creek.
Only Alaskan residents are allowed to use a dipnet to fish for hooligan. No permit is required, but you must have your sport fishing license in your possession.