Low water prompts Little Su and Deshka coho closures

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says that due to "extremely low water conditions," they are closing the Little Susitna and Deshka Rivers to all coho salmon fishing, including catch and release.

The closures go into effect 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 21.

Additionally, the use of bait for any species of salmon is prohibited as per earlier restrictions.

Biologists say that even in the lower 30 miles of the Little Su River, coho runs appear to be below average. The same is true near the mouth of the Deshka.

On the Deshka, fishing is closed including all waters within a one-half mile radius of its confluence with the Susitna River

“It can be difficult to assess run strength by weir under these conditions. Reports from guides and anglers also indicate below average numbers of fish holding in the lower 30 miles of the river," said ADF&G area biologist Sam Ivey, "It is prudent to conserve the remaining coho salmon until environmental conditions change and the indications of run strength improve.”

In the Little Su, managers are hoping for an escapement of up to 17,700, but to date only 3,841 have passed through the weir. In the Deshka, the escapement goal is up to 24,100, but only 3,285 have passed through the weir.

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