Area Sport Fishing Reports
Upper Copper/Upper Susitna
Archived Sport Fishing Report
July 05, 2023
Personal Use Fishing
- The Chitina Subdistrict Personal Use Dipnet Salmon Fishery is currently open through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 16.
- Sonar counts at the Miles Lake sonar site continue to exceed daily preseason projections demonstrating a strong late stock run. During June 26 – July 2, there were 148,255 salmon counted past the sonar. The preseason projection for this period was 43,448 salmon, resulting in a surplus of 104,807 salmon.
- The cumulative sonar count at Miles Lake is approximately 140,000 fish above expected for this date. Total sonar passage stood at 618,468 salmon through July 5 compared to the preseason projection of 476,040 for that date.
- It generally takes fish two to three weeks to reach the dip net fishery from the sonar counter.
- The Copper River level has declined and is currently 15.1 feet at Chitina, which is about 1/2 foot below average for this date. The river generally fluctuates from 13 to 17 feet over the course of a season. Sunny, hot weather over the next 4-7 days will probably lead to increased flows so be cautious. Copper River water level near Chitina can be monitored online by NOAA/National Weather Service.
- Call the Chitina Personal Use Fishery Hotline at 907-822-5224 for more information on the Chitina dipnet fishery.
For a guide to where all the accessible fisheries are, check out Sport fishing Alaska rivers and lakes in the Upper Copper/Upper Susitna River Basin. This guide lists all the fisheries, species available and mile markers along all the major highways crossing the Upper Copper and Upper Susitna Area.
Arctic grayling: As the summer warms stream water temperatures, Arctic grayling will be on the move looking for colder water. Paxson Lake is a good consistent choice for Arctic grayling, as is Lake Louise. If you have an ATV, a trip up the Swede Lake trail to Swede Lake or to the Middle Fork of the Gulkana River could produce some good-sized Arctic grayling throughout the summer.
Lake trout and burbot: Lake Louise and Susitna Lake are always good choices for lake trout in the summer. Paxson Lake and Summit Lake in the upper Gulkana River drainage are also good options. You can also explore other lakes like Swede and Little Swede Lakes south of the Denali Highway or Sevenmile Lake north of the highway.
Dolly Varden: The Little Tonsina River and the upper Klutina River are always a good choice for Dollies. Also fish along the Nabesna and McCarthy Roads. For smaller Dollies you can have a great time fishing the Tiekel River which runs along Richardson Highway on the way to Valdez.
- Sockeye salmon: The Klutina River is providing consistently good sockeye fishing opportunity this year. The Tonsina River may also be a good choice for sockeye salmon. Sockeye numbers on the Gulkana River have been low for the early run of sockeye salmon run there.
- King salmon: The Copper River is experiencing an excellent king salmon run this year. Fish are running big as well. The Gulkana River has cleared and fishing is good throughout the river. We are expecting warm weather over the next several days. As a result, expect king salmon to start moving fast on the Gulkana River and providing great opportunity upstream of Sourdough Landing. The Klutina and Tonsina Rivers opened for King salmon fishing on July 1. Fishing has been slow so far but numbers should steadily increase through July.
Please review the Emergency Orders and Advisory Announcements listed at the top of this report in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip. Also, be sure to review the 2023 Northern Sport Fishing Regulations Summary Booklet for the area you are fishing before you head out.
- Download the ADF&G Mobile App today. You can purchase and display your fishing license and king stamp, record your annual harvest (i.e. king salmon, halibut), access sport fishing regulations and locations, and so much more on your mobile device. You can also purchase your license and dipnetting permits online at the ADF&G online store.
- Also, check out ADF&G's new gofishak interactive map to discover popular fishing locations and information on species run timing, fishing gear selections, and boat and angler access tips.
For more information
For more information, please call the Glennallen office at (907) 822-3309.