Fish and Game press release:
The use of bait will be prohibited in the Little Susitna River from its mouth upstream to the
Parks Highway effective 12:01 a.m., Monday, August 6, 2012, through 11:59 p.m., Sunday,
September 30, 2012. Only unbaited, artificial lures may be used. A person who takes a bag
limit of salmon 16 inches long or longer from the Little Susitna River may not fish for any
species of fish in the Little Susitna River downstream of the Parks Highway that same day.
The Little Susitna River coho salmon sustainable escapement goal (SEG) is 10,100–
17,700 fish. In 2009, 2010, and 2011 the SEG was not achieved. Harvest can exceed
escapement on average run years due to the high effort in this sport fishery. By August
6, as much as 50 percent of the harvest has typically taken place in the sport fishery.
While it is currently too early in the run to project escapement, daily weir counts are
below average. As of August 1, only 120 coho had passed upstream of the weir. The
sport fish exit survey conducted at the Little Susitna Public Use Facility indicates
below-average catch rates and is supported by guide and angler reports of low fishing
success under good fishing conditions.
Based on these run strength indices, it is justified to slow the harvest of coho salmon at
the Little Susitna to ensure the SEG is met.
The department will continue to monitor the Little Susitna River coho salmon run as it
develops. If run strength improves to a level that can support a larger harvest,
restrictions to the sport fishery may be rescinded. However, additional restrictions are
possible if the run does not improve.