Area Sport Fishing Reports
Upper Copper/Upper Susitna
Archived Sport Fishing Report
June 18, 2020
* Just a reminder to all 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.
Copper River Chitina Subdistrict personal use dip net fishery is currently open through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, June 21. During this period dip netters may retain their one king salmon. The fishery will immediately re-open 12:01 a.m Monday June 22 for 24 hours closing at 11:59 p.m. that night. RETENTION OF KING SALMON WILL BE CLOSED DURING THIS PERIOD AND FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE SEASON (Refer to Advisory Announcement for 6/17/2020).
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.
King salmon are currently open in the Copper River drainage upstream of the north bank of the Klutina River. EFFECTIVE 12:01 A.M. SATURDAY JUNE 20 THE ANNUAL LIMIT FOR KING SALMON IN THE COPPER RIVER DRAINAGE WILL BE 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 have already reached the regulatory annual limit of 4 king salmon you may not retain an additional king salmon.
Anglers are currently targeting king salmon on the Gulkana River. The water is high but fishable. Fishing is slow throughout the river, but water temperatures have been low and fish are not moving quickly. Expect the best fishing to occur in the lower river below Poplar Grove for the next week with fishing improving above Sourdough thereafter.
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 the sockeye run has been tracking late so fishing may begin to improve over the next week. In the Gulkana River sockeye salmon counts are well below average at our counting tower, but fish should be distributed throughout the river.
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.