Cora Campbell, Commissioner
DIVISION OF SPORT FISH
Charles O. Swanton, Director
Contact: Sam Ivey, Area Management BiologistPalmer (907) 746-6300
June 22, 2012
For Immediate Release
Susitna River Drainage Closes to Sport Fishing for King Salmon onMonday, June 25
Susitna River drainage king salmon anglers are advised that, in an effort to meet minimumescapement numbers, king salmon sport fisheries within the Susitna River drainage will beclosed effective 6:00 a.m., Monday, June 25 through July 13. The closure prohibits sportfishing for king salmon, including catch-and-release fishing. King salmon may not be retainedor possessed; king salmon caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from thewater and must be released immediately.Anglers are reminded that:
Bait will remain prohibited on the Deshka River and only one, single-hook, artificiallure will be allowed in waters normally open to king salmon fishing through July 13.
The Susitna River drainage remains open to fishing for finfish species other than kingsalmon. King salmon may not be targeted and those caught while fishing for other speciesmay not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.King salmon stocks to Cook Inlet and throughout Alaska are experiencing a period of lowproductivity and low run strength. All indices of abundance suggest king salmon run-strengthin the Susitna River is comparable with poor run strength trends experienced by other kingsalmon stocks in lower Cook Inlet and the Kenai Peninsula. To date, Deshka River weircounts combined with angler reports and staff surveys indicate a weaker than anticipated run ofking salmon to the Deshka River. Angler and guide reports on other tributaries of the SusitnaRiver combined with recent staff surveys also indicate weak return of king salmon to theseareas. As of June 21, only 6,852 fish had passed the Deshka River weir and the totalescapement is projected to be approximately 11,350 fish. The sustainable escapement goal forking salmon in the Deshka River is 13,000 to 28,000 fish. Any additional mortality associatedwith harvest or catch-and-release cannot be justified at this time and all fish entering the lowerDeshka River and the rest of the Susitna drainage must be conserved if escapement goals are tobe attained.For more information, contact Sam Ivey at (907) 746-6300.