Little Susitna River Anglers Can’t Use Bait

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

Little Susitna River photo by Wikimedia user “Jim”

Bait Prohibited in the Little Susitna River Sport Fishery

(Palmer) – 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. Saturday, August 12, 2023, through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, September 30, 2023. 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 9,200 – 17,700 fish. A target management objective of approximately 10,200 fish incorporates an anticipated harvest of nearly 1,000 fish upstream of the weir. Projections of escapement have trended downward in recent days since bait was allowed by regulation in the sport fishery and this trend is expected to continue to a level where the SEG may not be attained,” stated Area Management Biologist Sam Ivey. “As of August 9, a count of 3,146 coho salmon had passed upstream of the weir and the escapement is projected to be 9,318 fish and falling. At this time, it is justified to reduce catch efficiency of coho salmon at the Little Susitna River in order to slow harvest and reverse the downward trend in escapement 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 If run strength improves to a level that can support a larger harvest, restrictions to the sport fishery may be rescinded.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.

For more information, contact Sam Ivey at (907) 746-6300.