Area Sport Fishing Reports
Upper Copper/Upper Susitna
Archived Sport Fishing Report
July 10, 2019
Copper River Chitina Subdistrict is currently open and will remain open through at least Sunday July 21st 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 at historic high levels and harvest success is extremely low at this time even for people experienced enough to dip from a boat in these high waters. Temperatures are projected to stay high for several more days so don’t expect river levels to drop until sometime next week. Once river levels drop expect some good to excellent fishing.
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 about done with most fish already past the ADF&G counting tower or in the West Fork. Water temperatures are above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. We recommend anglers limit their catch and release fishing at these stressful water temperatures. Water levels are also at historic lows on the Gulkana River and even boaters well experienced with the river are finding travel challenging. Remember when fishing below the Richardson Highway Bridge you are limited to unbaited flies only.
The Klutina River is running extremely high and sockeye fishing has slowed down, but anglers are still being successful. King salmon fishing is now open on the Klutina and Tonsina Rivers. The best fishing for king salmon on the Klutina is in the upper reaches of the river. High water makes it nearly impossible to land a king salmon in 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.