The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
Anglers are advised that the Little Susitna River is closed to fishing for king salmon beginning 6 a.m.Saturday, July 1, 2017, through the remainder of the king salmon sport fishing season. King salmon fishing during two consecutive three day weekends, July 1 – July 3 and July 8 – July 10, set forth in Emergency Order No. 2-KS-2-18-17, issued this past Thursday, June 22, will not take place. In addition, sport fishing gear is limited to one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure only when fishing for other species. The closure prohibits sport fishing for king salmon, including catch-and-release fishing. King salmon may not be taken or possessed; king salmon caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately. The closure includes all waters of the Little Susitna River from its confluence with Cook Inlet upstream to the Parks Highway Bridge. Little Susitna River anglers may continue to fish for species other than king salmon downstream of the Parks Highway Bridge.
To date, only 1,240 king salmon have passed the Little Susitna weir, which is located at approximately river mile 32.5 and four miles upstream of the Little Susitna Public Use Facility (LSPUF). The escapement goal for the Little Susitna is 2,100 – 4,300 king salmon based on the weir count. Weir counts to date indicate the escapement goal is not likely to be achieved without further restrictions. An aerial survey flown downstream of the weir on June 28 substantiates the weir count assessment and indicates that any further harvest of king salmon could jeopardize achievement of the goal. At this time, it is prudent to prohibit further harvest and close the Little Susitna River to king salmon fishing for the duration of the season.