Area Sport Fishing Reports
Note: Presence of a particular fish species does not necessarily mean that it is legal to fish for that species. In addition, some waters have terminal tackle restrictions and all have bag and possession limits that may differ between drainages. Please consult current sport fishing regulations for the waters in which you plan to fish.
Sometimes sport fishing regulations are modified inseason, usually in the case of salmon. Please review these “Emergency Orders” prior to wetting your line.
Chum, pink, and king salmon are entering Norton Sound streams. Pink salmon runs are generally very strong in even years. Spoons, spinners, and flashy flies should work well for both chum and pink salmon. Fishing for Dolly Varden and Arctic grayling should be good. Try using small jigs and smolt-imitation flies. Dry flies will catch Arctic grayling as well, with the Fish/Niukluk, Snake, and Sinuk rivers being the best roadside streams to try. Fishing for northern pike should pick up in the lower Pilgrim and Kuzitrin rivers as the water drops and warms up. Burbot fishing is generally poor in Norton Sound streams, but there are a few to be caught in the Fish, Pilgrim, and Kuzitrin rivers with fresh bait fished on the bottom.
River levels are dropping as snowmelt subsides, and fishing for Dolly Varden and Arctic grayling should pick up. Fishing for Dolly Varden may be slow until mid-July, then pick up and be good through mid-September in the Noatak, Wulik, and Kivalina rivers. Kobuk River tributaries such as the Squirrel, Salmon, and Hunt rivers should contain Dolly Varden as well. Jigging for herring in the marine waters near Kotzebue should be slowing down now that spawning is finished, but there may still be some found at the seawall in town. No salmon or sheefish are to be found in rivers quite yet, although you might catch juvenile sheefish (12-20 inches) in the lagoon right in town. Spoons and rubber soft lures work best, fished close to the bottom. Northern pike in the lower Noatak, Kobuk, and Selawik rivers will hit these lures as well.