Little Susitna king salmon fishing

Bob Aguirre casts his line from the banks of the Little Susitna River in hopes of catching a king salmon in this Frontiersman file photo.

PALMER — Just a week into the new year, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game made a pair of major announcements Monday afternoon.

Fishing will be closed to king salmon in both the Susitna River Drainage and the Little Susitna May 1 through July 13. The announcements were made in separate press releases issued by ADF&G.

“Last season king salmon stocks in the North Cook Inlet experienced a weak run of king salmon, as did most of Alaska. An exceptionally low run is expected again this season due to a poor showing of 5- and 6-year old fish,” Area Management Biologist Sam Ivey said in a press release issued by fish and game Monday afternoon. “Alaskans know every fish counts towards achieving our escapement goals and providing a sustainable fishery for our future. ADF&G staff understands the frustrations and tremendous impact closing this fishery down has on anglers, local businesses, and guides. Nonetheless, ADF&G has a duty to protect, maintain, and improve our sport fisheries, and even with these restrictions, we will likely not meet our escapement goals.”

On the Little Su, fishing will be closed to king salmon fishing in all waters, according to the release, from its mouth upstream to the Parks Highway bridge. The restrictions begin May 1 at 6 a.m. and continue until July 13 at 11:59 p.m. Any king caught accidently must be immediately released. During the king salmon fishing ban, anglers targeting other species are limited to the use of an unbaited single hook artificial lure. Fishing from other species is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. during the span of the king salmon restriction.

The same restriction will also apply to units 1-6 in the Susitna River Drainage

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