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Area Sport Fishing Reports

August 27, 2020

* Just a reminder to all of our anglers - please do your part to help slow the spread of Covid-19 by following and reviewing the State of Alaska Health Mandates currently in effect. As indicated in Health Alert 010, please wear a face covering and practice social distancing while sport and personal use fishing, and while shopping for fishing supplies from your local store.

Emergency Orders

Please review the Emergency Orders and Advisory Announcements below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip:

  • Emergency Order 3-CS-U-02-20 closed the Tanana River drainage to sport fishing for chum salmon

Personal Use

The permit lottery for Chatanika River Personal Use Whitefish Spear Fishery Permits closed on August 15, 2020. There were nearly 500 applicants. All applicants have been notified by email whether they have been successfully drawn for a permit. A total of 225 permits were issued.

This year, the fishery will open on Thursday, September 10, and close on Monday, October 12. The household limit (i.e. per permit) is 10 whitefish. Sheefish or Arctic grayling MAY NOT be speared or retained.

Sport Fishing


Chum salmon projections from the lower Yukon River are currently tracking as the lowest run size on record, and restrictions to all user groups are needed in order to make the drainagewide escapement goal. The Tanana River drainage is currently closed to sport fishing for chum salmon.

Coho salmon are slowly making their way up to the Tanana River and its tributaries. Current projections indicate that the run may be weak and later than average, so the fishing may be slow at first until more fish enter the river.

Resident freshwater species

Fall is a great time to get out and fish our stocked lakes. Arctic grayling, rainbow trout, Arctic char and landlocked salmon are all active in the cool, fall temperatures. Try shrimp, cured salmon eggs, or colored jigs to increase your chances of success.

Arctic grayling fishing in the local rivers has been excellent. Try casting white jigs or spinners. The Delta Clearwater River boat launch is still under renovation but is expected to be useable by this weekend.

Lake trout and Arctic char fishing should be excellent as water temperatures in the lakes have remained cool. Large spoons, flatfish lures, and crankbaits work well for trolling.

Northern pike have been more active in area lakes. Try casting flashy spoons, topwater lures, and shads.

Minto Flats is still flooded, and there is very little onshore use available. For those willing to make the trip, try trolling large spoons in the deeper channels for larger pike. Remember to please crimp barbs and/or change out treble hooks with single hooks when catch-and-release fishing for northern pike - the fish and your hands will thank you!

Burbot are starting to get more aggressive as water temperatures cool and darkness returns. Try jigging or placing setlines at the mouths of sloughs, near back eddies, and downstream of tributaries. Herring, whitefish, or lamprey all work well as bait.

The weekend forecast currently looks nice, and the landscape is starting to transition to fall colors. This time of year, the light and colors can make for stunning photos. It's a great time to head to one of our local lakes or rivers to enjoy some fishing! Be sure to have the camera ready so that you can enter the Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary Cover Photo Contest.

Don’t forget to bring your 2020 sport fishing license. Help maximize social distancing by purchasing your sport fishing license at the ADF&G Online Store. You can print your license from the comfort of your home. Also, be sure to review Emergency Orders and the 2020 Northern Sport Fishing Regulations Summary Booklet for the area you are fishing before you head out.

For more information, call the Fairbanks office at (907) 459-7200 or the Delta Junction office at (907) 895-4632.


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