Jason Perrego of Alaska Lakes Guide Service mentioned to me on Wednesday that people often do well catching lake trout at Lake Louise this time of year. He will not be fishing Louise until a bit later in June, however, he said people were catching some large fish, and the lake trout are often in shallower water in the spring making it easier for people to catch them while trolling.
There are some outsized lake trout in Lake Louise, however, the harvest limit is low and many people like to release all large lake trout they catch from this location in an effort to maintain this fishery for trophy-sized fish. This is mainly a boat fishery.
When I spoke with Steve at Susitna Landing he mentioned having a great number of campers over the Memorial Day weekend, but with heavy rain the river has come up and the trout people were catching earlier in the season may have migrated upstream. Steve did mention seeing numbers of grayling jumping upstream of the boat launch, and thought after the river dropped and cleared a bit from the rain they might offer a decent catching opportunity. Memorial Weekend is often one of the busiest weekends of the season at Susitna Landing, so camping spots should be more readily available throughout the summer. Weekdays often have both less people camping and less people fishing — something to keep in mind if a person likes more solitude. Call 495-7700 for more information.
Steam fishing is open in the tributary streams along the Parks Highway from Willow Creek north and at some locations up the Glenn Highway north of Moose Creek. Check the regulations before fishing as steams in the large Palmer-Wasilla Zone remain closed through mid-June as do select other streams. Regulations generally cater to catch and release fishing or limited harvest opportunities on steams for native species, while allowing more liberal harvest opportunities in most of the lakes stocked by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Dan Suprak of Alaska Chinook Charters told me about running a trip to Deshka River recently in search of northern pike. They found a few pike swirling in the shallows in a side slough, however, were unable to land any on this trip. He also looked for hooligan along the Susitna River in a spot he had caught them earlier this season, but said the hooligan seemed to be done for the season at this time. With no king salmon fishing allowed in the entire Susitna River drainage at this time, there is a distinct opportunity to fish some of the better fish producing and scenic waters with little competition from other anglers. Dan also mentioned fishing 3 different Mat-Su Valley stocked lakes where he and his wife continue to do quite well catching rainbow trout and some arctic char. Two of those lakes are in the Mat-Su Valley core area and have had relatively low angler effort on the times he has fished them. You’ll have to do your own searching on to figure them out, or perhaps make a reservation with Dan. 907-748-0095.
King salmon showing
A few king salmon are starting to show up on the Knik River/Eklutna Tailrace fishery — the one location in the Mat-Su Valley where it is legal for sport fishers to fish for and harvest ocean-run king salmon at this time. I’ve been there several times and have yet to hook a king salmon or see anyone hook a king salmon, but one of the last times I went to the tailrace I did see about a 6-10 pound fish surface three times. Perhaps he had already been hooked or caught by another angler, perhaps he had already been thoroughly flogged by other people lures and baits, or perhaps I simply was not good enough to get him to bite. Whatever the reason — seeing a fish or a few fish is the closest I’ve come to hooking a king salmon this year. Note: The tailrace and small portion of the Knik River open to king salmon fishing is open on a seven-days-per-week basis with bait and multiple hooks allowed. Be sure to check regulations before you go as there are some king salmon specific regulations. The tailrace is located along the old Glenn Highway and is the water outflow from Eklutna Power Plant. King salmon fishing is open in the Knik River side-channel for about two miles below the tailrace. If you go to this location, plan on seeing other people. There is a free parking area, outhouses, and a cleaning table. Please do your best to keep things clean for all who participate in this fishery. Favorite lures are salmon roe for bait (either fished on the bottom or under a float /bobber), large weighted spinners, or medium -sized diving plugs.
Out of area subsistence and personal use salmon
Anglers may have noticed that the commercial fishery for Copper River sockeye and king salmon have been producing much better harvest numbers in comparison to last year. Sonar salmon counts up the Copper River have been better as well. It is my understanding that the Copper River subsistence dip net fishery will open on Saturday June 1, while the Copper River personal use fishery opens later in June. These are permit required fisheries for Alaska residents only, and provide a significant opportunity for Alaskans to harvest some prime salmon. Contact your nearest Alaska Department of Fish and Game office for more information. With king salmon fishing closed in most Mat-Su Valley locations this year, it is a fair bet that more Mat-Su anglers will want to participate during the month of June in these Copper River fisheries.
Good Luck and Be Safe!