Polaris Lake Open to Catch-and-Release Fishing

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

(Fairbanks) – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is opening Polaris Lake, located on Eielson Air Force Base (EAFB), to catch-and-release sport fishing for all fish species effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, April 11, 2020. Kimberly Lake, in the North Pole area, will remain closed to sport fishing. All fish species caught in Polaris Lake may not be retained and must be released immediately.

In 2019, Kimberly and Polaris lakes surface waters tested positive for PFAS in amounts that exceeded EPA and DEC action levels. As a precautionary measure, both lakes were closed to sport fishing since the department did not have the authority to restrict to catch-and-release only. Recently, the Board of Fisheries provided the department regulatory authority to allow catch-and-release fishing in contaminated waters.

The reopening of Polaris Lake to catch-and-release fishing is intended to provide sport fishing opportunity for the residents of EAFB. Unfortunately, catch-and-release fishing prohibits the consumption of fish; any anglers who would like to target fish for consumption can reference the department’s Sport Fishing Regulation Summary or call the Fairbanks office (907) 459-7207.

Kimberly Lake will remain closed. There is no public access to Kimberly Lake and it is assumed that any fish previously stocked did not survive due to poor over-wintering conditions. Future stockings of resident fish at Kimberly Lake are suspended indefinitely.

For additional information contact Heather Scannell, Tanana Area Management Biologist, 907-459-7357.