Tag Archives: situk king closure

Kings have Reached Lower Goal

As of this morning,  the king escapement on the Situk has achieved ADF&G’s lower escapement goal of 450 fish.  They have 466 large kings through the weir so far.  This is a huge relief,  since we have been consistently missing this goal for several years.  ADF&G has had to take drastic (dare we say draconian) steps to make sure the kings reached that goal.  Now that we have reached the minimum goal,  they said they are thinking of some short-term changes,  but wouldn’t specify.  I did ask if that meant opening the Rodeo Hole and that was a no-go.


Photo by Pat Robbins of http://www.fishitalio.com

Next year’s parent year was the last time we exceeded the escapement goal,  so I’m hopeful we’ll have a bit more flexibility in our fishing regs.  That does NOT mean they will open kings for retention,  but at least we should be able to fish sockeye in the whole river!  Speaking of sockeye…

We are just shy of 62,000 counted fish,  so we’re close to doubling the limit.  I’d expect them to make that decision over the next few days.  It is apparent the Situk’s run was early and not extremely strong…  Odd because out on the Akwe,  the run is a bit above average,  but right on time.  East River is a good fly-out option as well,  since they are seeing an OK run out there too.


Yes, sockeye feed!

The Situk’s run has just been weird this year.  And the pinks are starting to come in in big numbers,  making sockeye fishing at the lower end more and more challenging.  Few people have been fishing the upper river because there is a predominance of blushed fish up there,  but with the additional closure below and now humpies galore,  it is getting a lot more pressure up higher.


You don’t hook em here by flossing…

OK,  my annual rant…  Had more than one new visitor come into the shop this season to complain about the other lodge guests badgering them immediately when they got off the plane about how you can only catch sockeye by snagging them…  I guess it is one thing for you to abuse the run and fish illegally because you don’t know what the $#@% you are talking about.  It is yet another for you to rag on people who DON’T want to fish illegally on the Situk.


Hooked on the INSIDE of the li facing the fisherman, not the outside facing away as would happen with most flossings.

Do sockeye feed?  They don’t grow to 6 1/2 pounds by absorbing their nutrients through their skin (like their hooks).  Sockeye feed on zoo plankton and invertebrates in the ocean.  They don’t generally chase down other little fish like all the other species of salmon.  They don’t hit Pixees and Dolly Llamas,  so they get a reputation for being “uncatchable”.  Bull crap.  You just have to duplicate their regular food source,  which is some small twitching little speck.  Thus small and sparse (for salmon flies).  And you have to totally deaddrift to them.  They food isn’t high enough on the food chain to escape,  so any swift movement (either by stripping or swinging) is a turn-off.

I have no idea why anyone would spend thousands of dollars to fly to Alaska to snag fish.  This time of year,  it is the majority on the river.  My most frustrating time of year,  but also the most rewarding when I do get someone to do it right and they start outfishing everyone around them.  Including spin guys outfishing the fly flossers when they rig it right and get the drift down.

OK,  rant is over.  Thanks.


New Situk Closure as of 7-10-17

Fish and Game is closing the Situk to sport fishing from the weir down to the bottom end of the Rodeo Hole.  The rest of the lower river between Rodeo and the train trestle remains open.  The reasoning for this is to protect the king run…  They have only counted about 100 large kings through the weir so far and there have been a TON of them stuck below the weir in those last couple holes before the weir.  Like entire schools of kings!  Some of the people fishing can’t avoid catching a king in those holes because the density of kings has been so great.

So starting Monday June 10th and lasting till August 15th,  the river is closed from the weir to 2,100 feet downstream of the weir.  Here are PDF’s of the emergency order,  news release and map of the closure area.  Deliberately targeting kings anywhere in the Situk system also remains closed.



2017 Situk Closure Map

And here are lower res jpegs of the same three…



2017 Situk Closure Map

2015 Situk King Closure


The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today that the Situk River drainage is closed to the retention of king salmon 20 inches or greater in length, beginning 12:01 a.m., Friday, May 8.  King salmon 20 inches or greater in length that are caught, may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

The Situk River drainage is managed for a biological escapement goal of 450 to 1,050 large king salmon. In 2010-2012 the Situk River king salmon goal was not achieved. In 2013 and 2014 the goal was achieved after restrictions were implemented in the sport and commercial fisheries.  The 2015 pre-season forecast is for a total run of approximately 600 large king salmon.  Given recent fishery and harvest trends, a run of that size is not expected to achieve the escapement goal without these pre-season fishery restrictions.

For further information, anglers should call the Division of Sport Fish, at (907) 784-3222.

Read the full Emergency Order text here:
2015 Situk King Closure

King salmon stacked up in the 9 Mile Pool

King salmon stacked up in the 9 Mile Pool

2014 Situk King Closure

Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced an Emergency Order closing the Situk River to retention of King Salmon 20 inches or greater effective May 14th,  2014.  Any kings caught must be immediately released and may not be removed from the water for photos.

ADF&G is expecting a return of 826 King Salmon in the 2014 season.  The Situk River is managed for an escapement goal between 450 and 1,050 large kings.  In recent years,  the Department has closed the Situk to even targeting kings for catch-and-release,  but this restriction has been lifted for the start of the 2014 season.

Read the complete EO PDF HERE or click the two-page jpeg below:

2014 Situk King Closure - Page 1

2014 Situk King Closure – Page 1

2014 Situk King Closure - Page 2

2014 Situk King Closure – Page 2