Area Sport Fishing Reports
North Slope

Archived Sport Fishing Report

July 06, 2021

* 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.

This report is intended for both the Northwest and the North Slope Management Areas.

Sport Fishing

Resident species

Rivers and lakes are open throughout the Northwest and North Slope Management Areas. Most rivers are running high from recent rains but remain fishable. Fishing for Arctic grayling and Dolly Varden has been outstanding in Norton Sound streams as these fish target out-migrating salmon smolt. Small spinners and jigs will catch both species, and Arctic grayling can be caught on topwater flies as well. Fishing for northern pike should be good in the Pilgrim-Kuzitrin River complex, and in off-channel habitats of the larger Noatak, Kobuk, and Selawik Rivers. Big spoons and soft baits work well, as do large topwater lures and flies. Fishing for Arctic grayling in North Slope streams should be good as spawning has ended and fish move upstream to summer feeding areas. Fishing for lake trout and Arctic char in North Slope lakes can be slow but success can be had at deeper lakes. Remember that these populations are generally slow-growing and can support only minimal harvests. Fishing for lake trout in lakes extending 5 miles on either side of the Dalton Highway is catch-and-release only.

Anadromous species

Salmon have begun to enter streams in the Northwest and North Slope Management Areas, but the runs of king, pink, and chum salmon appear to be running later than average in Norton Sound. Installation of escapement projects has been slowed due to high water, but about half of the towers and weir are in operation. Counts of all king and chum salmon are well below average. Sheefish have begun their upstream migration to the spawning grounds in the Kobuk and Selawik Rivers, and on the Kobuk River fish have been caught near the village of Kiana. Similarly, spawning Dolly Varden will not begin upstream migration in Northwestern and North Slope rivers until mid-July. The Noatak and Wulik Rivers are the most popular spots for large Dolly Varden, with fish over 12 pounds possible in both drainages.

Emergency Orders

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

For More Information

Call the Northwest and North Slope Area Management Biologist at (907) 459-7268.

Additional Tips

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.


North Slope Area Archives for:
Sep 02, 2021 Aug 03, 2021 Jul 06, 2021 Jun 08, 2021

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