Little Su River Another King Salmon Sport Fishing Closure

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

Little Susitna River Drainage Closed to Sport Fishing for King Salmon

(Palmer) – In favor of protecting returning king salmon and increasing fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation closure for the Little Susitna River drainage, effective 6:00 a.m. Monday, June 20 through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, July 13, 2022. Sport fishing for king salmon is closed, including catch-and-release, in all waters of the Little Susitna River from its confluences with Cook Inlet upstream to the Parks Highway Bridge. King salmon may not be retained or possessed. King salmon caught must be released immediately. A person may not remove a king salmon from the water before releasing the fish. In addition, sport fishing gear is limited to one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure when fishing for other species.

This sport fishing regulation closure supersedes the emergency order issued on January 26, 2022, that restricted the Little Susitna River to catch-and-release only for king salmon through July 13.

“High spring melt off has made assessment of run strength using weir counts and reports of fishing success difficult this season. However, weir counts to date are one of the lowest on record,” stated Area Management Biologist, Sam Ivey. “The Little Susitna king salmon sport fishery has the potential for higher harvest rates relative to other Northern Cook Inlet sport fisheries. Anticipated shifts in effort due to closing the Deshka River sport fishery through a separate emergency order is likely to put more pressure and increase release mortality of the Little Susitna king salmon stock this season. Therefore, it is prudent to conserve all king salmon returning the Little Susitna River to provide the greatest potential for achieving the escapement goal in 2022. Other areas of Cook Inlet and the state are experiencing very low returns of king salmon this season. King salmon fisheries throughout Cook Inlet south of the Northern Cook Inlet Management Area have been closed.”

In conjunction with this closure, an emergency order was issued for the Deshka River closing king salmon fishing, and fishing for king salmon in the other tributaries of the Susitna River remains catch-and-release only.

For additional information, please contact Area Management Biologist Sam Ivey at (907) 746-6300.