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.
Kuskokwim River Tributaries
Salmon Fishing: In 2014 with poor returns of king salmon in the area, sport fishing for king salmon is closed through the entire Kuskokwim-Goodnews Management area. Sport fishing for other species remains open. In addition, anglers may use only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure in the entire Kuskokwim–Goodnews Area. King salmon begin entering the lower Kuskokwim River during mid-May. Anglers should focus their efforts at the confluences of lower and middle river tributaries as king, sockeye and chum salmon runs continue and peak in the lower river during mid-to late June. In the upper Kuskokwim River, including the Holitna River drainage and other drainages upstream, king salmon sport fishing usually starts in late June, and peaks in the second week of July.
Resident Species Fishing: Many of the local rivers support sheefish, Dolly Varden, burbot, rainbow trout, northern pike and Arctic grayling. Good fishing opportunities can be expected as water levels continue to decrease. Northern pike fishing improves throughout June as they recover from the rigors of spawning. Anglers will find northern pike in shallow waters that are adjacent to cooler deeper waters. Fishing for burbot at the mouths of Kuskokwim River tributaries is a common local practice. Setlines are allowed for burbot fishing. Sheefish migrate up the Kuskokwim River drainage in May and June, and often can be caught with hook and line at the mouths of clear tributaries. Local high elevation lakes can provide excellent fishing opportunities for char/lake trout and Dolly Varden during the early morning or late evening hours. Try fishing near outlet and inlets or off points of land that are adjacent to deep waters.
Kuskokwim Bay Tributaries
Salmon Fishing: In 2014 with poor returns of king salmon in the area, sport fishing for king salmon is closed through the entire Kuskokwim-Goodnews Management area. Sport fishing for other species remains open. In addition, anglers may use only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure in the entire Kuskokwim–Goodnews Area. In years that are open to king salmon fishing, sport fishing for king salmon in the Kuskokwim Bay streams generally continues to improve throughout June. The Kanektok, Arolik and Goodnews king salmon runs peak in the lower river during the last week of June. Anglers can expect to find fair numbers of king salmon in the mid reaches of the Kuskokwim Bay streams by the end of June. Sockeye and chum salmon begin to enter local Kuskokwim Bay streams in the lower sections in early June. Generally the sockeye salmon run peaks before mid-July in the lower reaches of Kuskokwim Bay streams.
Resident Species Fishing: Dolly Varden and rainbow trout fishing is generally good, but is highly dependent on fishing conditions, particularly water clarity. The high elevation lakes offer excellent fishing for char/lake trout and Dolly Varden as soon as the ice is out.
For additional information or concerns, please call (907) 543-1677 or (907) 459-7361.
Anglers visiting western Alaska are encouraged to respect the rights of private property owners and to respect traditional perspectives. Many local residents are concerned about catch-and-release fishing practices. Yup’ik people feel these practices are disrespectful to fish and are in conflict with their traditional ethics. These ethics teach that when animals are mistreated, the natural order becomes disrupted and people risk future food shortages. If disrupted, the fish will move away and may never return to the river. It is important that visitors acknowledge and respect these traditions by respecting their catch and observing careful catch-and-release practices.
- Keep the fish in the water,
- Use single hook lures or flies,
- When taking pictures, cradle the fish with both hands,
- Pinch your barbs down and
- If you can not remove the fly easily, consider cutting the line or the hook.
Enjoy these western Alaska fishing opportunities, operate boats in courteous manner, pack out your waste and only leave your footprints.