Area Sport Fishing Reports
Upper Copper/Upper Susitna
Archived Sport Fishing Report
July 03, 2019
Copper River Chitina Subdistrict is currently open and will remain open through at least Sunday July 14th at 11:59 p.m. Dipnetters may retain a king salmon during the fishery. Parking is extremely limited at O’Brien Creek and there is no boat launching there. The Copper River is near historic high water levels. Boat launching along the east shore of the Copper River (McCarthy side of the Chitina-McCarthy Bridge) will be challenging if not impossible.
ADF&G encourages and advises all dipnetters to exercise caution and safety when accessing the Copper River and to wear life jackets whether fishing from a boat or shore.
Lake trout fishing continues to be productive in area lakes, but higher temperatures will be forcing these fish into deeper, colder waters.
King salmon fishing in the Gulkana River is very good and fish can be found throughout the river. Kings are mostly in the upper river above Sourdough. Gulkana River tower counts are the highest ever recorded (6,582 fish) since the tower was made operational in 2002. Counts are starting to slow and run passage by the tower is estimated to be 85%-90% complete. Remember when fishing below the Richardson Highway Bridge you are limited to unbaited flies only. The Gulkana River is near historic low water levels and water temps are in the low to mid 70’s.
The Klutina River is near historic high water levels, but sockeye fishing is still steady. Most anglers are able to catch their limit of 3 sockeye salmon in few hours. Expect fishing to continue to pick up. King salmon fishing is now open on the Klutina and Tonsina rivers. High water will make landing a king difficult. The upper reaches of the rivers should provide good fishing for king salmon right now, with continued building run strength feeding the lower river.
The Copper Basin abounds in streams and lakes full of Arctic grayling and Dolly Varden. Most Arctic grayling will be found in lakes or larger rivers like the Gulkana. Dolly Varden can be found in most streams. The upper Klutina is an especially fun fishery for Dollies during the spring and early summer. You will need an access permit from Ahtna to enjoy this fishing from shore this year. Another great place to fish is along the Denali Highway where many streams and small lakes provide for fun angling and a chance to fry up a day’s catch over the fire.
Check our roadside guide for fishing in the Upper Copper Upper Susitna Management Area. It lists nearly every sport fishery in the area, species present and milepost location.
All roadside stocked waters have fresh fish in them ready to be caught. We stock rainbow trout, Arctic grayling and Arctic char in area lakes. Several lakes are a short walk (under a mile) from the road and these are underutilized by the public. What that means is those fish are hungry and ready to be caught. Bring a pack raft or small canoe to really enjoy these off-the-road lakes.