Area Sport Fishing Reports
August 3, 2021
3-CS-V-3-21* Just a reminder to all anglers, please do your part to help slow the spread of Covid-19 by practicing social distancing while sport and personal use fishing as well as when shopping for fishing supplies from your local store, and by wearing a face covering when social distancing is not possible.
Resident freshwater species
Sheefish fishing has been reported to be good at the mouth of the Aniak River, and the lower Holitna River from the mouth to near the conjunction of the Hoholitna River. Fishermen have been using large smolt patterns and large colorful spoons as well as diving lures with great success.
Rainbow trout fishing has been good in the lower Kuskokwim River tributaries (Kisaralik, Kwethluk, and Kasigluk and Aniak rivers), as well as the Kuskokwim Bay tributaries (Kanektok, Goodnews, and Arolik rivers). Most fishermen have been using salmon flesh-colored flies or similarly colored spinning gear, or light-colored jigs.
Arctic grayling are found in similar locations and conditions, generally in fast-moving water in clearwater tributaries.
Dolly Varden fishing has been consistent throughout the area, even as high water conditions have hampered the catch and harvest of other species.
Northern pike fishing can be world-class because they are not often targeted in this drainage, and they inhabit large waters with plenty of room and forage to grow. The bigger fish often tend to occupy clearwater mouth or connected slough complexes along the mainstem Kuskokwim River. Anything that imitates prey and attracts attention will work. Crocodiles and larges spoons work anytime, and topwater lures such as jitterbugs and large fly patterns work best in the late evening under the midnight sun when the large pike will lurk in the warm surface waters.
High water conditions off and on throughout the summer have created inconsistent conditions for sport fishing. Continued rain may increase the high water and turbidity issues in August.
Sportfishing for king salmon closed for the season after July 25.
The chum salmon run has been very small, requiring them to be closed to sport fishing, including catch-and-release, in the Kuskokwim River drainage. This includes catch-and-release. However, the Kuskokwim Bay drainages remain open to sport fishing for chum salmon.
Coho salmon are coming into the lower Kuskokwim River and into the Kuskokwim Bay drainages (Goodnews, Kanektok, and Arolik Rivers), and early reports indicate that they are returning in good numbers. After the season-long closure for fishing for king salmon in the Kuskokwim River drainages, sport fishermen are eager to catch some coho salmon! They are easily catchable using large flashy spoons for spinning gear, or any comparably flashy fly-fishing gear. They are commonly caught throughout the clearwater tributaries of the Kuskokwim River and Kuskokwim Bay, but within the Kuskokwim River sport fishers often concentrate their effort at the mixing zones where the clearwater streams mix with the glacially turbid waters of the Kuskokwim River.
High water has been a hindrance through much of the season, and as August tends to have more rain than other months, sport fishermen should plan accordingly. Many of the Kuskokwim area's freshwater drainages are prone to high and turbid water conditions very quickly after a period of heavy rain.
There are many guides and outfitters that provide excellent services and opportunities throughout the Kuskokwim-Goodnews area. Operations are more normal after a drastic decrease in business and operations in 2020 due to Covid-19. If you have made arrangements with any of these services for fishing this season, please touch base with them prior to your travel to ensure you are able to be compliant with the Covid-19 precautions that their business or local communities may require.
Please review the Emergency Orders and Advisory Announcements below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip:
- Emergency Order 3-CS-V-03-21 closes the Kuskokwim River drainage to sport fishing for chum salmon to December 31.
For More Information
Call the Kuskokwim Goodnews Area Manager at (907) 459-7361.
Don’t forget to bring your 2021 sport fishing license. Help maximize social distancing by purchasing your sport fishing license at the ADF&G Online Store and print it off from the comfort of your home. Also, be sure to review Emergency Orders and the 2021 Northern Sport Fishing Regulations Summary Booklet for the area you are fishing in before you head out.
Because fish typically grow and reproduce more slowly at high latitudes and elevations, please use proper techniques when engaging in catch-and-release in order to ensure the survival of the released fish such as:
- Use lures with a single hook and crimp down the barb. Do not use bait.
- Land the fish with a soft net and keep the fish in the water when removing the hook.
- To release the fish, hold it gently facing into the current or in water without current gently cradle the fish and move it slowly back and forth until it swims away under its own power.