Slow Coho Run Prompts ADFG To Close Little Susitna To Bait Fishing
(Palmer) – In an effort to increase the number of coho salmon passing through the Little Susitna River weir, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is prohibiting the use of bait on the Little Susitna River from its mouth up to the Parks Highway effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, August 14 through 11:59 p.m. Monday, September 30, 2019.
“The coho run on the Little Su has slowed,” stated Palmer Area Management Biologist Sam Ivey. “Using bait is a very effective way to target coho. By limiting the use of bait, we’re increasing the potential to achieve the escapement goal while still allowing opportunity for harvest.”
Anglers can fish for coho salmon in the Little Susitna River from its mouth up to the Parks Highway using artificial lures or flies. Multiple hooks, meaning no more than two treble hooks or two single hooks per line may be used in this section. Anglers are reminded that the bag and possession limit for coho salmon, 16 inches or longer, is two fish. A coho salmon that is removed from the water becomes part of the bag limit of the person who originally hooked the fish. In addition, a person who takes a bag limit of coho salmon in the Little Susitna River may not fish for any species of fish from the mouth up to the Parks Highway on that same day. Please review page 42 of the 2019 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulation Summary booklet for additional regulatory information on the Little Susitna River.
The Little Susitna River coho salmon sustainable escapement goal (SEG) is 10,100 – 17,700 fish. Current weir countsare well below average. By August 6, 2019, as much as 50 percent of the harvest has typically taken place in the sport fishery. As of August 11, only 3,635 coho salmon had passed upstream of the weir and the escapement is projected to be 8,653 fish.