General Area Description: All waters draining into the east side of Knik arm south of, and including, the Eklutna River drainage, and all waters draining into the north and west sides of Turnagain Arm, and all waters draining into the south side of Turnagain Arm east of, and including, Ingram Creek.
Fishing Tip: Before you go fishing ALWAYS review the sport fishing regulations and Emergency Order page.
For additional information about regulations in the Anchorage Bowl, look in the 2018 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulation Summary.
Sport fishing licenses and King Stamps are available for purchase online at the ADF&G Online Store.
Regulation Reminders and Emergency Orders
Ship Creek is currently open to salmon fishing from the mouth to a cable 100 feet below the Chugach Power Plant Dam. The remainder of the creek up to 300 feet above the Elmendorf Power Plant Dam, near the William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery, is CLOSED YEAR ROUND to ALL fishing.
Campbell Creek (entire drainage) is closed to fishing April 15 – June 14.
Chester Creek (entire drainage) is closed to fishing April 15 – June 14. NO SALMON FISHING IS ALLOWED ON CHESTER CREEK.
Bird Creek (entire drainage) is closed to fishing January 1 – July 13. NO KING SALMON FISHING IS ALLOWED ON BIRD CREEK.
Symphony Lake is closed to fishing May 1 – June 30.
Eagle River (entire drainage) is closed to king salmon fishing. A section between the Bailey Bridge to an ADF&G marker at the Alaska State Park’s Campground will open to king salmon fishing on a weekend basis beginning Memorial Day Weekend.
Before you go fishing ALWAYS review the 2018 Sport Fishing Regulations and have a current 2018 sport fishing license – available for purchase at the ADF&G Online Store.
Anglers can visit the ADF&G Hatcheries and Stocking webpage for more information regarding when and where fish are stocked. Most lakes in the Anchorage area will be stocked over the next 3 weeks.
Ship Creek is the only stream in the Anchorage area currently open to king salmon fishing. Fishing on Ship Creek is open from the mouth up to the cable crossing roughly 100 feet below the Chugach Power Plant Dam. Some anglers are starting to scout the creek for that first king. So far we have not heard of any kings being caught. If you are feeling lucky and you are itching to wet a line for kings Ship Creek is the place in the Anchorage area. You might try floating roe under a bobber.
All other waters in the Anchorage Management Area are currently closed to king salmon fishing.
If you are successful and would like to report a catch please contact the Sport Fish Information Center at 267-2218.
Fishing Tip: Brush up on your fish identification before you head out fishing. Test your fish identification knowledge with the new Pacific Salmon ID Quiz.
All of Campbell Creek, Chester Creek, and portions of Ship Creek are currently closed to fishing to protect spawning rainbow trout. The closure on Chester Creek includes East and West Chester Lagoon and APU/University Lake.
Lakes in the area are free of ice.
Chinook salmon and rainbow trout stocking by the WJH Sportfish Hatchery has begun.
Cheney, Sand, Delong, and Hilberg (on JBER) were some of the lakes recently stocked. Anglers can visit our hatcheries and stocking web page at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/ index.cfm?adfg= SportStockingHatcheriesSearch.main for more information about when and where fish are stocked. Chinook salmon will be stocked at the beginning of April.
Often after fish are stocked, they remain in large schools. Spend some time searching for these schools.
Fishing Tip: To improve your success in local stocked lakes review the lake bathymetric (bottom depth profile) map online. These maps can reveal structure and other locations where fish may likely be. Often a little walk or getting away from the pack will provide rewards.
**Have you noticed a few dead fish washed up along the shores of local lakes this spring? Don’t be alarmed! Our lakes often see winterkill of some fish. Winterkill is used to describe fish dying because of low oxygen levels.
This is a natural process! In the summer, submerged plants and algae create oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. During our long and cold Alaska winters, when lakes freeze over and are covered with snow, very little light makes its way to the vegetation below, reducing and sometimes eliminating oxygen production. In small shallow lakes the limited oxygen can quickly be used up by fish and bacteria. When oxygen levels decline far enough, fish may not survive. Given the long winter and thick ice we just had, some of our lakes may have experienced winterkill.
There are very few opportunities for Northern Pike in Anchorage as they are not native to the region. ADF&G has taken steps to keep pike out of Anchorage lakes. Lower Fire Lake is the closest place to find Northern pike in the Anchorage Area. If you catch a Northern Pike in the Anchorage area, please contact the ADF&G Sport Fish Division immediately at 267-2218.
We have a dedicated phone hotline (267-2515) for hooligan updates.
The open season for hooligan (smelt) in salt waters is April 1–May 31; in fresh waters, it is April 1–June 15. There is no bag or possession limit for personal use smelt. Hooligan may be taken by dip net in any fresh or salt water during the open season.
This is a personal-use fishery and only Alaska residents can participate. No permit is required, but you do need a valid 2018 Alaska resident fishing license or ADF&G Permanent fishing license ID card with you.
Hooligan catches in the 20-mile River picked up over the last weekend. On the morning of Saturday May 5th catches per individual per hour of dipping were ranging from 100 to 200 fish.
Hooligan run timing and run strength can be highly variable.
Please contact the Sport Fish Information office at (907-267-2218) if you have a fishing report you are willing to share or any questions about this fishery.
For your safety, and for the safety of others, please follow the posted speed limits, slow down when pedestrians are present, and park well of the highway and not next to the guardrail. Do not trespass on the railroad tracks or the railroad right-of-way. Please be respectful and take all your trash with you, don’t throw it on the ground. Please obey all signs and do not block the boat launch.
For additional information on dipnetting for hooligan see the 2018 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations summary booklet.
**If you are successful and would like to report a catch please contact the Sport Fish Information Center at 267-2218.