Low Salmon Numbers Means Tighter Fishing Restrictions
Anglers limited to two kings on both the Susitna River and Little Susitna River
ALASKA - Low numbers of king salmon in the Northern Cook Inlet area mean the fishing will be restricted beginning May 15.
“The last three years we've had scattered runs,” said Ken Marsh from the Division of Sport Fish. “We haven’t had as many fish as we'd like to.”
The Alaska Department of Fish and Games said there is a below-average outlook for the upcoming season.
Anglers can catch a limit of two kngs on both the Susitna River and Little Susitna River.
“So a person could get their Upper Cook Inlet annual limit of 5, they could get two out of the Susitna drainage, two out of the Little Susitna drainage and one elsewhere,” said Marsh.
Fish and Game can’t be sure when numbers will rebound, but officials said there isn’t anything to worry about.
"Not everybody's happy certainly, I’m disappointed. I'd like to catch a few more fish but we need to tighten out belts for now and help bring those fisheries back.”
So where are the best places to go for early season fishing?
Marsh said the salt water fisheries for kings out of Seward and Homer are both doing really well.
And by the second week of May there is expected to be good dip netting for hooligan in the inlet.
With ice breaking up quickly on all of the lakes across Anchorage it will only be another week or two before they are stocked full of fish from the new hatchery.
The William Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery has 330,000 rainbow trout getting ready for release into more than 200 lakes across the state.
“We also want the water to warm up a little bit just so that there’s more food naturally available for the fish once we put them in the lakes,” said hatchery manager Andrea Tesch.
Arctic charr and grayling will also be released into lakes within the next two weeks.