Mat-Su Valley Fishing Report: Little Su Coho Fishing Should Improve

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

Little Susitna River photo by Wikimedia user “Jim”

Mat-Su Fishing Report

July 26, 2023

Local Lakes

For camping and lake fishing check out: Finger, Matanuska, South Rolly, and Rocky lakes.

Freshwater Fishing


  • Fish counts on the Deshka River are unavailable until the weir can be repaired following flooding. Anglers are catching coho and pinks at the mouth and water level is favorable for fishing.
  • Fish counts are up and running again on the Little Su. Chums and pinks are abundant with some coho mixed in. Coho fishing success should steadily improve into August. Remember, bait is not allowed on the Little Su until August 6.
  • Parks highway streams are producing catches of pinks, some chums, and a few coho.
  • Try the weekend only fishery at the mouth of Cottonwood Creek for sockeye salmon this weekend. It’s open to fishing 5 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Try fishing Jim Creek for sockeye and early coho. Beginning August 1st Jim Creek is closed to all fishing Mondays and Tuesdays for coho conservation and open Wednesday-Sundays 5 a.m.-10 p.m. The weir has been installed and counts will be available online soon.
  • Sockeye are beginning to arrive at Larson Creek and this is a good week to fish it.
  • West Cook Inlet sockeye fishing continues to be good at Big River Lakes with the occasional coho catch.

Personal Use- Alaska resident only fisheries

  • The Fish Creek dip net fishery is open each day from 6 a.m. – 11 p.m. and will close Monday, July 31 at 11 p.m. Try fishing the incoming tides and please be considerate of private property postings. Please be safe and take heed of the 30-foot tides, strong tidal currents, and the mud.
    • The Susitna personal use dipnet fishery is now open on the lower Susitna River. This fishery runs 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Wednesdays only from July 10 to July 31. The designated area for fishing is between regulatory markers posted approximately one mile downstream of Susitna Station (just below the Yentna River mouth) down to markers posted just below the Alexander Creek cut-off/northern tip of Bell Island. Access is by boat or plane only.
  • This fishery is part of the Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use permit. An Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use permit is required in addition to a sport fishing license. Only Alaska residents may participate in this fishery. Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use permit harvest and participation must be reported online no later than August 15 through the ADF&G harvest reporting webpage.

Northern Pike

  • Anglers may retain as many pike as they catch – there is no bag or possession limit. In the freshwaters of West Cook Inlet the Knik Arm, and Susitna River drainage, anglers are not allowed to release live pike back into the water.
  • Roadside, try Nancy, Big, Horseshoe, Long and Rainbow Lakes.
  • Fly-in to Trapper, Shell, Alexander, or Sucker Lakes.

Rainbow Trout

  • Rainbow trout fishing is good on Parks Highway streams, including Clear Creek of the Talkeetna River. This is a good time for egg patterns, egg sucking leaches, and flesh flies. Also try sculpins, leeches, mice, and dolly llamas. Olive and white are good color choices.
  • Grayling fishing has been good too. Try gold or yellow flies or lures, keep the sizes small. Bead head nymphs, Griffith Gnats, Elk Hair Caddis, Mayflies, or Stimulators are productive fly patterns.

Emergency Orders

Please review the emergency orders and advisory announcements below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip.

  • Emergency Order 2-RS-2-49-23 opens Fish Creek to dipnetting Saturday, July 22 at 6:00am – Monday July 31 at 11:00pm. Dipnetting for salmon, except king salmon, will be allowed only between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. each day. Dipnetters may harvest salmon off the shore or a boat from the ADF&G markers located on both sides of the terminus of Fish Creek, upstream to ADF&G regulatory markers located approximately one-quarter mile upstream from Knik-Goose Bay Road.
  • Emergency Order 2-RS-2-42-23 closing dipnetting in the vicinity of Anderson Creek of the lower Susitna River effective 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 12 through 11:00 p.m. Saturday, July 30, 2023. The area closed to dipnetting is identified by ADF&G markers located approximately 50 feet upstream and 300 feet downstream of the mouth of Anderson Creek. In addition, dipnetting is not allowed in Anderson Creek.
  • Emergency Order 2-R-2-02-23 adds Leech, Summit, Zero, Kings, and Anderson lakes to the list of lakes stocked with hatchery fish. The bag and possession limit for rainbow trout in these lakes is five fish, of which only one maybe 20 inches or greater in length. The bag and possession limit for Arctic grayling is five fish, with no size limit. This emergency order is effective for the 2023 season.
  • Emergency Order 2-DV-2-01-23 prohibits the retention of Arctic char/Dolly Varden in the Fish Creek (Big Lake) drainage. This emergency order is in effect through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, December 31, 2023.

Don’t forget to purchase your 2023 sport fishing license and king stamp! These can be purchased through the ADF&G online store and printed off from the comfort of your own home. Also, make sure to review emergency orders, advisory announcements, and the 2023 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for the area you are fishing in before you head out.

For additional information, please contact the ADF&G Palmer Area Office at (907) 746-6300.