ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Little Susitna River has reached sustainable escapement for kings and will open at 6 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
After a push of 857 fish on Monday, a cumulative total of 2,615 kings had passed the Little Susitna weir. That number falls within the sustainable escapement goal of between 2,300 and 3,900 fish. Normally by June 24, about 60% of the run has passed through the weir.
Last year at this time, just 70 had passed through the weir.
The emergency order opens fishing from the mouth of the river upstream to the Parks Highway. The bag limit is one per day and one in possession -- and they must be longer than 20 inches from nose to tail.
“This year’s run has taken an unexpected, but pleasant turn for the better, with a jump in counts over this past weekend,” said Area Management Biologist Sam Ivey in the release. “With the goal achieved we can relax restrictions on the Little Su and provide another opportunity for anglers to go catch a king salmon”.
In January, the Department of Fish and Game had announced a pre-emptive closure of Northern Cook Inlet areas to nearly all king salmon fishing, commercial and sport, due to a recent pattern of extremely poor returns.