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Area Sport Fishing Reports
Upper Copper/Upper Susitna

June 26, 2020

Just a reminder to all of our anglers, please do your part to help slow the spread of Covid-19 by following and reviewing the current State of Alaska Health Mandates in effect. This includes practicing social distancing while sport and personal use fishing and wearing a face covering when fishing and if you are needing fishing supplies from your local store as indicated in Health Alert 010.

Please see the 2020 Northern Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for a complete summary of the Upper Copper/Upper Susitna sport fisheries regulations.

Emergency Orders

Please review the Emergency Orders and Advisory Announcements below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip:

  • Emergency Order 3-KS-I-03-20 reduced the annual limit for king salmon 20 inches or greater in length from four to one fish. Any king salmon harvested from the Upper Copper River drainage prior to June 20 does not count toward the one fish annual limit.
  • Emergency Order 3-RS-I-04-20 details the Copper River Personal Use Dip Net Salmon Fishing Schedule for the week of June 22 – 28.
  • Emergency Order 3-RS-I-05-20 details the Copper River Personal Use Dip Net Salmon Fishing Schedule for the week of June 29 - July 5

Personal Use

The Copper River Chitina Subdistrict personal use dip net fishery is currently open through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 5th. Retention of king salmon remains closed.

Sonar counts exceeded the daily objectives over a 5-day period from June 12-16. However, counts are again dropping. The sonar is still tracking nearly 100,000 fish short of the cumulative objective and management of the Chitina Subdistrict personal use dip net fishery will continue to be conservative.

For up to date information on openings and closings in the Chitina Subdistrict personal use dip net fishery call any one of the following hotlines Glennallen: 907-822-5224, Anchorage: 907-267-2511, and Fairbanks: 907-459-7382

Sport Fishing

King salmon are currently open in the Copper River drainage upstream of the north bank of the Klutina River. The annual limit for king salmon in the copper river drainage has been reduced from 4 fish to 1 (Refer to Advisory Announcement for 6/17/2020). This change will stay in effect for the remainder of the season. If you have already retained 1-3 king salmon in the Copper River drainage prior to June 20, you may still retain a single king salmon. If you had already reached the regulatory annual limit of 4 king salmon by June 20 you may not retain an additional king salmon.

Anglers are currently targeting king salmon on the Gulkana River. Unfortunately, the river is currently blown-out with high muddy water. Based on current weather reports the river is not anticipated to drop and clear until early next week. Prior to the high water, king salmon fishing was improving, and fish were being caught throughout the river.

The 2020 king salmon run is tracking well below forecast and Gulkana River king salmon counting tower counts are lagging behind expected. At this time, we do not anticipate further drainage wide restrictions for king salmon but may need to take further action in the Gulkana River if tower counts do not improve. Such action would probably not occur until at least June 27.

Sockeye salmon are open throughout the Copper River drainage. Fishing in the Klutina River continues to be slow, but has improved. Expect fishing to be spotty with short periods of good fishing intermixed with very little action. Anglers are reporting reaching their daily limits of three fish, but taking all day to do so. In the Gulkana River sockeye salmon counts are well below average at our counting tower.

All area lakes are ice free and full of hungry fish. All stocked lakes have been stocked for the summer with Arctic grayling, rainbow trout and coho salmon. Waters remain cool so Lake trout should be well distributed offering anglers a good chance of success from both boats and shore. Arctic grayling have migrated back downstream of their spawning locations and should be in their usual summer hang-outs. If waters remain cool, the mainstem Gulkana River should have some nice sized fish present.

Large lakes like Lake Louise, Crosswind, and Paxson Lakes as well as smaller lakes along the Denali Highway should be great weekend destinations with good fishing for lake trout and Arctic grayling.

Don’t forget to bring your 2020 sport fishing license and king stamp! Help maximize social distancing by purchasing your 2020 sport fishing license and king stamp through the ADF&G online store. You can print it off from the comfort of your own home. Also, make sure to review Emergency Orders and the 2020 Northern Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for the area you are fishing before you head out.

For additional information, please contact the ADF&G Glennallen Area Office at (907) 822-3309.

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