Susitna River Coho Limits Increasing

Susitna River photo by Mike Lunde

The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Deparment of Fish and Game:

Effective 5 p.m. on August 22, 2017, the Department of Fish and Game is increasing the sport fishing bag and possession limit for coho salmon, to four fish per day and eight fish in possession, in all waters open to salmon fishing on the Susitna River Drainage (Units 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6). No more than three per day and six in possession may be pink, chum, and sockeye salmon in combination.

The sustainable escapement goal (SEG) for coho salmon in the Deshka River is 10,200-24,100 fish. As of August 20, 2017, weir counts indicate 33,297 coho salmon have passed the weir and the escapement goal has been exceeded. Past studies indicate that the Deshka River coho salmon stock can comprise from 7 percent to 17 percent of the mainstem Susitna River total abundance. Given this information, it is likely the Susitna River is experiencing a well above average run of coho salmon. Strong catch rates in commercial fisheries of the Central and Northern districts and reports from sport anglers and guides of above average catch rates across all clear water tributaries of the Susitna River drainage, are further indications of a large run of coho salmon.

These actions do not affect streams within the Knik Arm area including the Little Susitna River, Eklutna Tailrace, and Jim, Cottonwood, Fish, and Wasilla creeks. On the Little Susitna River, the use of bait continues to be restricted by emergency order and the bag and possession limit remains at two coho salmon, 16 inches or greater in length per regulation.