- Due to anticipated king salmon shortages, harvest will be limited or not allowed in many areas of the Matsu this season. There will be opportunity for catch-and-release fishing in many areas where harvest is not allowed. Beginning May 15, the total annual limit of king salmon 20 inches or longer taken in combination from the Susitna River drainage and Little Susitna River is two (2). The annual limit for fresh waters of Cook Inlet remains at five (5), but no more than two of those five may be taken from the Susitna River drainage Units 1-6 and the Little Susitna River. Also within the Susitna and Little Susitna drainages, only one, unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure is allowed while fishing for king salmon and anglers must stop fishing for any species of fish in waters open to king salmon fishing after harvesting a king salmon. Deshka River is included in these restrictions, but otherwise open to harvest seven days a week.
- Parks Highway streams within Unit 2 of the Susitna River will be further restricted to catch-and-release only. Catch and release fishing for king salmon will be allowed only during times the normal king salmon fishery is open by regulation, which is through the third Monday in June and then for 2 consecutive 3-day weekends (Saturday-Monday). Dates in 2013 for catch and release correspond to May 15 through June 17, June 22-24, and June 29-July 1. Fishing for trout and other species will not be affected by these emergency regulations for king salmon and will continue as written in current regulation.
- All waters of Unit 1 (except the Deshka River), Unit 3, Unit 5, and the Chulitna River in Unit 6 will be further restricted to catch-and-release fishing.
- Waters of Unit 4 (Yentna River drainage) will be further restricted by allowing harvest Friday-Monday only. Catch-and-release fishing for king salmon will be allowed Tuesday-Thursday. The exception within Unit 4 is Talachulitna River drainage where fishing for king salmon will be limited to catch-and-release only seven days per week.
- King salmon fishing on the Little Susitna is further restricted as follows: beginning May 15 harvest is allowed only on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. King salmon harvest (of any size) is prohibited on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday; only catch-and- release fishing is allowed on these days. King salmon that are intended to be released may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
- The Eklutna Tailrace is excluded from all king salmon emergency order restrictions.
- Anglers are reminded that flowing waters in the Palmer-Wasilla Zone are CLOSED to all fishing until June 15th.
- Many flowing waters along the Parks Highway are catch-and-release only for rainbow trout until June 15th.
- A late spring has the earliest king anglers waiting for the Susitna River to break up for the chance to try their luck.
- King salmon begin to appear in a few northern Cook Inlet streams by mid- to late May. The waters downstream of Burma Landing on the Little Susitna River and the mouth of the Deshka River are the first places anglers report catches.
- Fishing at the Eklutna Power Plant Tailrace generally picks up in early June.
- The mouths of the Parks Highway streams including Willow Creek and streams to the north may provide some action for rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, and grayling as streams continue to open up.
- Reminder, Deception Creek is closed to all fishing until June 15.
- Anglers may retain as many pike as they catch - there is no bag or possession limit.
- In the freshwaters of West Cook Inlet and Susitna River drainage, anglers are not allowed
to release live pike back into the water. Pike not retained for personal use may be disposed
of through lawful and safe methods, including returning dead pike to the water.
- Pike are just now starting to spawn and may be found in shallow, grassy waters. Nancy
Lake canoe system and Big Lake along the shore lines and near outlets may prove
productive for spear fishing as the ice retreats.
- Pike can be a little slluggish while spawning, so try a variety of lures. Where bait is allowed, herring under a bobber can't be beat. This is also a good time to try bow fishing for pike.
- For road-accessible pike fishing try the Nancy Lake Recreation Area lakes and Big, Prator, and Memory lakes.
- Many valley lakes are still ice covered and it may be a few weeks before we see the first fish stocked.
- Kepler/Bradley Lakes, and Lake Lucille have been opening up along the shore lines, both were stocked last summer.
- ADF&G does not monitor ice thickness; travel is at your own risk, use extreme caution.
- Hooligan are traditionally expected in the Susitna River later this week, though late break-up river conditions are likely to prevent anglers from accessing good dip net locations.
- You must have in your possession a 2013 Alaskan resident sport fishing license (or ADF&G senior license or ADF&G Disabled Veteran's license) in order to catch hooligan. You may take as many hooligan as you will use.
- Dipnetting for hooligan closes in fresh water June 15.
- Contact the hooligan hotline for more information area wide at 267-2515.
Recorded weekly fishing reports from the Alaska Department of Fish & Game for other areas in the state can be reached by calling:
267-2515 in Anchorage
262-2737 in Soldotna
235-6930 in Homer.
Area webpage: http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/Region2/areas/nci/ncihome.cfm
Salmon and trout identification pages: http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/statewide/regulations/2001/html/pdfs/01ayksalmonid.pdf
Sonar estimates/weir counts: http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/Region2/Escapement/HTML/query.cfm
Kenai River in season data summaries: not yet available
River levels: http://aprfc.arh.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/ahps.cgi?pacr
Lake stocking: http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/statewide/Hatchery/Stocking_search/HTML/stock_search.cfm
Maps to stocked lakes: http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/Region2/LAKEMAPS/HTML/LAKEMAP1.stm
Southcentral informational handouts: http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/region2/pubs.cfm
Safety in bear country: http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/hunt_trap/hunting/huntak/huntak14.cfm
Northern pike: http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/region2/areas/anch/pikepage.cfm
OEO/ADA statement: http://www.adfg.state.ak.us/oeostate.php