The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
The use of bait will be prohibited in the Little Susitna River from its mouth upstream to the Parks Highway effective 12:01 a.m. Sunday, August 6, 2017, through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, September 30, 2017. Only unbaited, artificial lures may be used. A person who takes a bag limit of salmon 16 inches long or longer from the Little Susitna River may not fish for any species of fish in the Little Susitna River downstream of the Parks Highway that same day.
The Little Susitna River coho salmon sustainable escapement goal (SEG) is 10,100 – 17,700 fish. Recent daily weir counts are well below average. As of August 3, 2017, only 679 coho salmon had passed upstream of the weir and the escapement is projected to be 4,456 fish at the 15th percentile of the historical run. Sport harvest can exceed escapement in average to below-average run years due to the high effort in this fishery. By August 6, as much as 50 percent of the harvest has typically taken place in the sport fishery. At this time, it is justified to slow the harvest of coho salmon at the Little Susitna River until the run can be further assessed to ensure the SEG is met.
The department will continue to monitor the Little Susitna River coho salmon run as it develops. If run strength improves to a level that can support a larger harvest, restrictions to the sport fishery may be rescinded. However, additional restrictions are possible if the run does not improve.