Fish Creek Gets Increased Sockeye Fishing Opportunities (Updated)

The following is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

(Palmer) – Due to a strong run of sockeye salmon into Fish Creek, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is increasing the bag and possession limits for salmon, other than king salmon, 16 inches or greater in length to six per day and six in possession; however, no more than two salmon per day and in possession may be coho salmon, in all waters of Fish Creek open to salmon fishing. In addition, sport fishing on Fish Creek will be allowed seven days per week from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. each day. These provisions are effective 5:00 a.m. Friday, August 9 through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, December 31, 2019.

After taking a bag limit of salmon, a person may not sport fish that same day in any waters open to salmon fishing. Bait and multiple hooks (meaning no more than two single hooks or two treble hooks per line) will be permitted in these fisheries.

“This year’s sockeye run to Fish Creek is solid and has exceeded the escapement goal of 15,000-45,000 fish,” stated Area Management Biologist Sam Ivey. “After a successful dipnet fishery followed by a great weekend of youth-only fishing, it’ll be nice to finish off the season by creating additional sport fishing opportunity for rod and reel anglers wishing to put up a few more fish for the winter.”

The escapement goal for coho salmon in Fish Creek is 1,200-4,400 fish and weir counts to date indicate 1,057 coho salmon have passed the weir at about 18% of the historical run. It is not anticipated that increased sport harvest of coho salmon as a result of increased fishing time directed at sockeye salmon harvest will prevent achieving the escapement for coho salmon in Fish Creek.

The Jim Creek coho salmon run is managed separately to achieve the escapement goal established for that system. Other Knik Arm waters, including the Little Susitna River, Eklutna Tailrace, and Wasilla and Cottonwood creeks remain unaffected by this emergency order.

Update:

Larson Creek Closed to Sport Fishing for All Salmon Species

(Palmer) – With low sockeye salmon numbers in Larson Creek, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is prohibiting sport fishing for all salmon species in the Larson Creek drainage and within a one-quarter mile radius of its confluence with the Talkeetna River effective 6:00 a.m. Saturday, August 10 through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, December 31, 2019.

“The run of sockeye to Larson Creek is winding down for the year,” stated Area Management Biologist Sam Ivey. “The sustainable escapement goal for Larson Creek is between 15,000 and 35,000 fish. As of August 7, 2019, the weir count was 3,041 sockeye salmon. We need to see more fish pass through the weir. Even if we use a record late run timing model, the projected escapement is less than what is required to achieve the escapement goal. Allowing harvest of sockeye to continue would further limit the number of fish in the creek and have an impact on the spawning population.”

Salmon may not be targeted, retained, or possessed and must be released immediately if caught incidentally. Sport fishing for and harvest of species other than salmon is not affected by this emergency order and may proceed 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. each day. Larson Creek is in Unit 5 of the Susitna River drainage. Additional regulatory information can be found on page 35 of the 2019 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulation Summary booklet.

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