The following is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
(Palmer) – The Deshka River king salmon escapement goal has been achieved for the 2020 fishing season and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is reopening the Deshka River to a limited harvest opportunity for the remainder of the king salmon season. Effective 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 8 through 11:00 p.m. Monday, July 13, 2020, the methods and means has been restored and anglers may keep one king salmon, 20 inches or greater in length, in the Deshka River. The annual limit is restricted to two king salmon, 20 inches or greater in length, and the area open to king salmon harvest is limited to downstream of the weir only and within a half-mile radius of the mouth. Bait and multiple hooks may be used downstream of the weir per regulation. Waters upstream of the weir to regulatory markers located near Chijuk Creek (river mile 17), remain catch-and-release only for king salmon with only one unbaited, single hook, artificial lure allowed.
Anglers are reminded that all other restrictions and closures taken in Emergency Order 2-KS-2-8-20 remain in effect, except for the Deshka River. Unit 2 of the Susitna River is closed to fishing for king salmon and fishing for king salmon in Units 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 of the Susitna River drainages are restricted to catch-and-release (except for the Deshka River). Sport fishing gear is restricted to one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure in all waters of the Susitna River drainage. Please review the Emergency Order in its entirety.
The biological escapement goal (BEG) for king salmon in the Deshka River is 9,000 to 18,000 fish, as measured at the weir located at river mile 7. The escapement goal has been achieved with approximately 10,200 fish passed the weir to date and a projection of 11,200. Therefore, it is warranted to open the Deshka River king salmon fishery to harvest. The estimated harvest of less than 300 fish due to this action will not lower the final escapement below the lower end of the escapement goal.
“The 2020 run appears to be performing better than runs experienced in 2017 through 2019,” stated Area Management Biologist Sam Ivey. “With the escapement goal now achieved and continued favorable counts in recent days, there is an opportunity for some late season harvest.”
For additional information, please contact Area Management Biologist Sam Ivey at (907) 746-6300 or Cook Inlet Management Coordinator Matt Miller at (907) 267-2415.