Big Lake, Alaska and The Susitna Valley News, Weather, Events, And More

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Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 01:58 AM AKST

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Alaska Draw Application Period Reminder

Fish and Gameby Bruce Dale, Director Division of Wildlife Conservation

The application period for Alaska's 2017-2018 big game drawing permit and Tier I hunts is here and we would like to let you know about the following changes to the application process:

Beginning this year, applicants for drawing hunts may select up to six hunts for most species. For moose, only three of those selections may be for bulls; however, all six choices may be for antlerless hunts. Hunters may also apply for the same hunt number as many times as allowed for that species, but not more than six times on all individual and party applications combined. Past exemptions specific to Kodiak brown bear hunts and moose hunts in the Koyukuk Controlled Use Area, Unit 21E, and Unit 23, remain in effect.

New rules require guides to apply on behalf of nonresident clients for all drawing hunts where a guide is mandatory.

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New Law Raises Alaska Fishing- and Hunting-Related Fees Beginning in 2017

Fish and Game(Juneau) — Fees for Alaska sport fishing, hunting, and trapping licenses and tags will increase beginning January 1, 2017. The Alaska State Legislature raised the fees last session through the passage of House Bill 137, which received broad support from user groups. The new rates mark the first time in 24 years that hunting license and tag fees have increased, while sport fishing licenses last increased about 10 years ago.

"Alaska's new prices are in line with other states," said Commissioner Sam Cotten, and in fact, "are significantly less expensive for resident hunters because Alaskans don't pay resident hunting tag fees."

Changes under the new law are not limited to fee increases. Alaska residents under the age of 18 will not be required to purchase hunting or fishing licenses or state waterfowl or king salmon stamps. The requirements for nonresident anglers over the age of 16 remain unchanged, and those individuals must purchase fishing licenses and stamps. Nonresident hunters and trappers of all ages must purchase appropriate licenses, tags, and stamps.

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One Fish Over The Limit

Fish and GameOn 10-13-16, Palmer Wildlife Troopers issued a citation to Luan P. Le, age 40, of Anchorage for taking one fish over the limit of rainbow trout while fishing on Matanuska Lake. The fish was seized and bail was set at $130.00 dollars in the Palmer District Court.

One Fish.
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Illegally Dumped Game Scraps Invite Bear Problems, Fines

Fish and GameHunting seasons are in full swing and many Alaskans are returning from days afield with moose, caribou, Dall sheep and other game ready for processing and storage in the freezer. Along the way, one problem successful hunters must consider is how to properly dispose of meat scraps, bones and hides.

Proper disposal isn't difficult, said Assistant Anchorage Area wildlife Biologist Cory Stantorf. What's hard is dealing with brown bears defending leftovers found illegally dumped in public greenbelts or residential areas.

"People don't always realize how quickly a pile of moose bones and meat scraps can go from an unsightly nuisance to a public safety concern," said Stantorf.

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Fall fishing report

Fish and GameEmergency Orders and regulation reminders

Starting September 1, the Parks Highway streams and many other Mat-Su and West Cook Inlet waters go to no bait and single-hook only. So check your regulations before fishing. Use of bait is currently prohibited by EO on the Little Susitna River.

Jim Creek, including all waters downstream to the Knik River and continuing downstream on the Knik River to within 100 yards of its confluence with Bodenburg Creek remains closed by EO to sport fishing for salmon; sport fishing for any species is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays for the rest of this season by regulation.

By emergency order Fish Creek has been liberalized to fishing 7 days per week. Sport fishing in Cottonwood and Wasilla creeks remains open only on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays. Anglers are reminded that sport fishing is only allowed in all of these waters from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day. The bag and possession limit for salmon, other than king salmon, 16 inches or greater in length remains at three per day and in possession, of which all three may be coho salmon, in the waters of Fish Creek, Cottonwood Creek, and Wasilla Creek.

Coho salmon 16 inches or longer once removed from fresh water must be retained and become part of the bag limit of the person who originally hooked the fish. A person may not remove a coho salmon 16 inches or longer from the water before releasing it.

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Area Sport Fishing Reports Week of August 24 to August 30

Fish and GameEmergency Orders and regulation reminders

Use of bait is currently prohibited by EO on the Little Susitna River.

Jim Creek, including all waters downstream to the Knik River and continuing downstream on the Knik River to within 100 yards of its confluence with Bodenburg Creek is closed by regulation to sport fishing for any species on Mondays and Tuesdays for the rest of this season.

By Emergency Order, beginning 6 a.m. Saturday, August 13, the bag and possession limit for coho (silver) salmon 16 inches or greater in length is increased to three fish in those waters of Fish Creek, Cottonwood Creek, and Wasilla Creek open to salmon fishing. Mondays are added to the weekend-only fisheries of Cottonwood and Wasilla Creeks, allowing fishing to occur on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays, and Fish Creek is liberalized to 7 days per week. Anglers are reminded that sport fishing is only allowed in these waters from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and that the coho salmon limit is combined with the bag and possession limit of sockeye, chum, and pink salmon.

Coho salmon 16 inches or longer once removed from fresh water must be retained and become part of the bag limit of the person who originally hooked the fish. A person may not remove a coho salmon 16 inches or longer from the water before releasing it.

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Fish, Cottonwood, And Wasilla Creeks Coho Salmon Sport Fishing Limits And Days Liberalized

Fish and GameThe sport fishing bag and possession limit for coho salmon will increase to three fish beginning at 6 a.m. on August 13 in waters open to salmon fishing on Fish, Cottonwood and Wasilla creeks. In addition, fishing will be allowed at Fish Creek seven days per week, and anglers will be allowed to fish on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays at Cottonwood and Wasilla creeks. Fishing will be allowed on these waters from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

“We’re seeing strong numbers of coho salmon on certain streams within the Knik Arm,” Sam Ivey, the Sport Fish Area Management Biologist in Palmer said. “As of August 9, just over 2,000 coho salmon have passed the Fish Creek weir. Looking at the average run timing and current weir counts, it is likely the sustainable escapement goal of 1,200 to 4,400 fish will be exceeded. Previous studies indicate a strong correlation in run size between coho salmon runs to Fish Creek and runs to Cottonwood and Wasilla creeks.”

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Area Sport Fishing Reports Week of August 10 to August 16

Fish and GameEmergency Orders and regulation reminders

Use of bait is currently prohibited by EO on the Little Susitna River.

Jim Creek, including all waters downstream to the Knik River and continuing downstream on the Knik River to within 100 yards of its confluence with Bodenburg Creek is closed by regulation to sport fishing for any species on Mondays and Tuesdays for the rest of this season.

By Emergency Order, beginning 6 a.m. Saturday, August 13, the bag and possession limit for coho (silver) salmon 16 inches or greater in length is increased to three fish in those waters of Fish Creek, Cottonwood Creek, and Wasilla Creek open to salmon fishing. Mondays are added to the weekend-only fisheries of Cottonwood and Wasilla Creeks, allowing fishing to occur on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays, and Fish Creek is liberalized to 7 days per week. Anglers are reminded that sport fishing is only allowed in these waters from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and that the coho salmon limit is combined with the bag and possession limit of sockeye, chum, and pink salmon.

Motorized watercraft capable of producing more than 42 pounds of thrust or 3 horsepower may not be used on Wasilla Creek on Saturdays and Sundays, July 15 - August 15.

Coho salmon 16 inches or longer once removed from fresh water must be retained and become part of the bag limit of the person who originally hooked the fish. A person may not remove a coho salmon 16 inches or longer from the water before releasing it.

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Big Lake Summer Fishing Derby

Fish and Game

Enter and win big in the Big Lake Summer Fishing Derby. Thousands in cash and prizes. First weekend of August. Sat, August 6, 8am – Sun, August 7, 4pm

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Fish Creek Youth-only Sport Fishery Opens Saturday And Sunday August 6-7

Fish and GameThe Fish Creek Youth-Only Fishery will open on Saturday and Sunday, August 6-7, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day. The Youth-Only Fishery allows anglers age 15 and younger to fish for all species, except king salmon, in waters between Alaska Department of Fish and Game markers at the mouth of Fish Creek and markers ¼-mile upstream of Knik-Goose Bay Road.

All other sport fishing regulations remain in effect for Fish Creek. The daily bag and possession limit is three salmon; only two per day may be coho (silver) salmon. The weekend-only fishery for anglers of all ages will commence on August 13.

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Area Sport Fishing Reports Week of August 3 to August 9

Fish and GameSalmon

Chum salmon remain plentiful in the Matsu area. Try fishing all stream mouths and lower sections of streams crossing the Parks Highway from Willow north to and including the Talkeetna River. Silver fishing has been slow; however, August is the month to target silvers and fishing should improve this week.

Fishing is expected to be good this next weekend for sockeye salmon on Cottonwood Creek with silvers expected as well. Jim Creek sockeye weir counts are above average; try fishing the mouth of Jim Creek any day of the week.

Silver fishing has been slow at the Deshka. The recent rainy weather has cooled the water and fishing success should only improve. Try vibrax lures using a variety of blade colors. Also try drifting bait with no weight or bait weighted under a bobber.

Silver and chum fishing has recently been fair at the Little Susitna. Fishing success for silvers should only improve this week if the daily weir counts improve. Anglers can follow the weir counts on our website: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/FishCounts/

A few silvers are being caught at the Eklutna Tailrace each morning.

Silver fishing should improve in Wasilla Creek / Rabbit Slough this weekend.

Take a child fishing at the youth only fishery at Fish Creek this Saturday and Sunday, 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day. Only youth 15 and under are allowed to fish, which includes hooking the fish; however, adults may assist youth in casting and landing fish. Weir counts indicate sockeye and silver fishing will be good.

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Area Sport Fishing Reports Week of July 27 to August 2

Fish and GameEmergency Orders and regulation reminders

The Fish Creek personal use dip net fishery may only be opened by EO upon a run strength projection in excess of 50,000 sockeye salmon. To date that criterion has not been met.

Bait is now allowed in many – but not all – Susitna River tributaries. Check for exceptions to the general regulations before heading out.

Anglers are reminded that bait is not allowed on the Little Susitna River until August 6, and the daily bag and possession limit for silver salmon is two fish.

Wasilla Creek and Cottonwood Creek are weekend-only fisheries, from 6:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Wasilla Creek is open to fishing for salmon, other than king salmon, from its mouth upstream to the Alaska Railroad bridge; and Cottonwood Creek from its mouth upstream one mile. Motorized watercraft may not be used on Wasilla Creek on Saturday and Sundays, July 15 - August 15.

Coho salmon 16 inches or longer once removed from fresh water must be retained and become part of the bag limit of the person who originally hooked the fish. A person may not remove a coho salmon 16 inches or longer from the water before releasing it.

Salmon

Pink and chum salmon are available in strong numbers along Parks Highway streams from Willow north to Talkeetna. Silvers should be in the mix this week. Try the mouths and lower sections of Willow, Little Willow, Kashwitna, Sheep, Caswell, and Montana creeks.

Fishing is expected to be good this next weekend for sockeye salmon on Cottonwood Creek. Also try Jim Creek.

Sockeye fishing at Larson Creek of the Talkeetna and Lake Creek of the Yentna River are both good places to fish for sockeye this week.

Expect some silvers at the mouths of Deshka River and Alexander Creek.

Silver and chum fishing has been fair at the Little Susitna. Fishing success for silvers should only improve this week.

Silvers are becoming more regular at the Eklutna Tailrace.

Silver fishing should improve in Wasilla Creek / Rabbit Slough this weekend.

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Little Susitna River Opens To The Use Of Bait

Fish and GameSport fish anglers will be allowed to use bait in the Little Susitna River from its mouth upstream to the Parks Highway beginning at 6 a.m. Wednesday, July 6 through the end of the king salmon season on July 13.

To date, about 4,300 king salmon have passed the weir on the Little Susitna River. The department projects a passage of approximately 4,800 fish, which is slightly higher than the upper end of the management target of about 4,000 fish. The bulk of the king salmon run is now located upstream of the weir, located at river mile 32.5.

Fishing for king salmon on the Little Susitna River from its mouth upstream to the Parks Highway is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days per week. The bag and possession limit for king salmon 20 inches or greater in length is one. The bag and possession limit for king salmon less than 20 inches in length is 10 fish. Anglers who retain a king salmon 20 inches or greater must stop fishing for the day in waters open to fishing for king salmon.

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Area Sport Fishing Reports

Fish and GameSalmon

King salmon fishing on the Deshka River is fair. Weir counts have dropped off recently, but later season pulses of fish are not uncommon on this system. The best fishing is well upstream of the mouth, but be careful when navigating those shallow waters.

King fishing at the Little Su is expected to be fair to good this weekend. Bait fishing is allowed through July 13, the end of the king season. A few chum salmon are arriving. It’s likely a few early coho will be caught this week as well.

Deshka and Little Su weir counts are available online at: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/FishCounts/ .

Lake Creek and some of the lower tributaries of the Yentna River are still producing some king salmon. Only four days of harvest (Friday-Monday) remain at Lake Creek.

Catch-and-release fishing for kings on the Talkeetna River should be good through the end of the season at the mouth and first two miles of Clear Creek.

King fishing at the Eklutna Tailrace has been fair to good over the past several days and is expected to be fair this next weekend. Bait fished under a slip bobber is a good technique for the Tailrace. The Tailrace is open year round to king fishing.

Early sockeye may start arriving at Jim Creek and Cottonwood Creek later in this week. Remember, Cottonwood Creek is only open 6a.m.-6p.m. Saturday and Sundays from its mouth upstream a distance of one mile.

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Area Sport Fishing Reports Week of June 29 to July 5

Fish and Game

Fresh waters

Salmon

King salmon fishing on the Deshka River should be fair this week. Weir counts have dropped off recently, but later season pulses of fish are not uncommon on this system. Water conditions are good for fishing. Be careful when navigating the shallow waters upstream of the mouth area.

King fishing at the Little Su is expected to be fair to good this weekend.

Deshka and Little Su weir counts are available online at: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/FishCounts/ .

Fishing has been fair to good at times at the Eklutna Tailrace. Bait fished under a slip bobber is a good technique for the Tailrace.

Lake Creek and some of the lower tributaries of the Yentna River are producing some good king salmon catches. Also try Eight-mile Creek off the Skwentna River this next weekend.

King fishing has been good at the mouths of Parks Hwy streams. Remember that Parks Highway streams are catch-and-release only for king salmon this weekend July 2-4.

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