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 fishing in tributaries is generally very good in July. In the upper Kuskokwim, including the Holitna River drainage and other drainages upstream, king salmon fishing usually starts in late June, and peaks in the second week of July. Coho salmon usually begin entering the Kuskokwim River in mid-July. Generally, by late July, coho salmon can be found in strength at the mouths of freshwater tributaries in the lower Kuskokwim River, and even at some of the upper tributaries.
Resident Species Fishing: Northern pike fishing in shallow, weedy areas or shallow ponds is usually very good in July due to warmer water temperatures. Anglers will find pike in shallow waters that are adjacent to cooler deeper waters. Northern Pike are endemic to the entire Kuskokwim River drainage, and can be found in both the mainstem areas and tributaries. Arctic grayling are found throughout the Kuskokwim River drainage in clear tributaries. Many of the local rivers support sheefish, burbot, Dolly Varden, rainbow trout and Arctic grayling. Some of the popular rainbow trout fisheries occur on the Aniak, Kwethluk, Kisaralik, and Kasigluk Rivers. Sheefish and burbot may be found at the mouths of some tributaries, and sheefish are commonly caught on the Holitna River in July. Burbot may be taken with setlines.
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. Sport fishing for king salmon in Kuskokwim Bay is good during July. King salmon should be well distributed from the mid to upper river in the Kanektok, Goodnews and Arolik, with many turning to spawning (red) color Chum salmon and sockeye salmon should be well distributed in the streams through much of July. Generally the sockeye run peaks before mid-July in the lower reaches of Kuskokwim Bay streams. Coho salmon enter the Kuskokwim Bay streams in mid-to-late July.
Resident Species Fishing: Dolly Varden and rainbow trout fishing is highly dependent on fishing conditions, particularly water clarity. Water clarity may decline as the weather tends toward wetter weather in late July. The high elevation lakes offer excellent fishing for char/lake trout and Dolly Varden.
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.