Area Sport Fishing Reports
Archived Sport Fishing Report
June 09, 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.
Due to consistent spring high water conditions, fishing in either the sport fishery or the subsistence rod-and-reel fishery in the Kuskokwim River and the Kuskokwim Bay drainages has been slow.
In lower water conditions, sheefish will be catchable at the mouths of many clearwater rivers such as the Aniak and Holitna, as well as other clearwater streams near Bethel such as the Kwethluk and Kisaralik. Large colorful spoons and spinners work well for these.
Rainbow trout catches are currently low in both the sport fisheries and the subsistence rod-and-reel fisheries but should improve as water levels decrease and visibility increases. These popular fisheries occur in the Kuskokwim Bay rivers – Goodnews, Kanektok, and Arolik, and in the lower Kuskokwim drainages which include the Kisaralik, Kwethluk, Kasigluk, and Aniak. These are popular guided and outfitted fisheries in remote Alaska, with many private businesses that provide excellent services and opportunities.
Northern pike fishing is excellent as the end of June approaches. Any clearwater mouth or connected slough complex along the mainstem Kuskokwim River affords excellent fishing. 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.
King salmon are entering the Kuskokwim River and Kuskokwim Bay drainages in small numbers. Subsistence users and the Bethel Test Fish and Kuskokwim River Sonar Test Fish are catching the first few kings in the river. Sportfishing for king salmon in the Kuskokwim Drainage will remain closed for this season due to poor expected escapement numbers and extensive subsistence fishery closures.
The Kuskokwim Bay rivers may be a good alternative to king fishing. In years when the Kuskokwim River has been closed, the Kanektok, Goodnews, and Arolik have been open – please check any announcements prior to making plans.
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.
Please review the Emergency Orders and Advisory Announcements below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip:
- Emergency Order 3-KS-V-01-21 closes the Kuskokwim River drainage to sport fishing for king salmon to June 11th.
- Emergency Order 3-KS-V-03-21 Extends the previous closure of the Kuskokwim River drainage king salmon sport fishery to July 25th. By regulation, this fishery closes after the 25th of July.
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.
For more information, please call the Kuskokwim Goodnews Area Manager at (907) 459-7361.