June Alaska Fishing Reports 2022
June is our best month for catching large ocean-run king salmon. This tour is one of our most uniquely Alaskan tours fishing for the official Alaska State Fish and our largest salmon species in the state. Kings are bulldog fighters with both strength and endurance. For those who would like an opportunity to harvest and eat a king salmon (my favorite salmon) the Knik River boat fishery provides that harvest opportunity in a scenic setting. For people more interested in the opportunity to fight a larger king salmon, in a more remote setting, with numerous prime fishing holes, and less fishing pressure, we provide catch and release king salmon fishing trips to Little Susitna River and Deshka River during the 2022 fishing season. Little Susitna River and Deshka River charter fishing often provide better wildlife viewing opportunities as well. You may want to bookmark this page for easy reference. Scroll down for our latest daily June fishing report.
June Fishing Reports
June 1, 2022 — I guided 2 guests on an 11 am trip to the Knik River. My guests fished with Fire Cured salmon roe drifted under ESB Bobbers, Fire cured salmon roe behind a jet diver, a spinner, and a plug, but only got a few light nibbles on the jet diver/roe that we thought must be smaller fish like whitefish or Dolly Varden. They did not catch a king salmon, and we did not see any king salmon surface — the river level looked to be high enough to move fish upriver, and I usually expect to see a good push of king salmon up the Knik River by the second week of June. We talked to another boat angler who had hooked, but lost a king salmon.
I spoke with Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) biologist, Samantha Oslund today, and she told me that portions of the Little Susitna River weir were partially submerged and the department was having difficulty counting fish with the video camera at the weir. She expected higher than normal river flows might last 10 days or more at Little Susitna River. The current count for king salmon migrating upstream of Little Susitna River weir is 13 for the year.
Deshka River Weir — ADF&G had partially installed Deshka River weir and hoped to get the weir fish-tight by the end of the day on June 1. Higher than normal water flows had delayed installation from the normal targeted installation of approximately May 20.
LS USGS about 1200 cfs at 11 p.m.
Susitna River NOAA at PHB – 21 feet at 8 pm
June 2, 2022 –– I guided a group of two adults on an 11 a.m. trip, who caught 2 king salmon and 1 jack king salmon. One king salmon was caught on a flatfish, one king salmon was caught on a gold-bladed #6 Magnum Spinner, and the jack king salmon was caught on an orange-bladed #5 Magnum Spinner. Durning the trip we watched a cow moose with twin calves feeding along the river edge while my guests were fishing. We also saw a trumpeter swan and some mature bald eagles.
Deshka River weir was fish-tight this afternoon, with technicians preparing to run the first weir count this evening.
LS USGS about 1300 cfs at 10 p.m.
Susitna River NOAA at PHB – 21.25 feet at 6 pm
June 3, 2022 – I guided a pleasant group of 4 adults who wanted a chance to harvest king salmon, so we fished the Knik Ri ver. We saw a few fish surface, but were unable to entice any good strikes. My guests fished with Fire Cured salmon roe under ESB Bobbers and behind jet divers, and also with a Kwikfish plug. Another 4 members of this same group fished from Dan Suprak’s guidebook and managed to catch and harvest two king salmon. During the trip we watched bald eagles flying over , a moose crossing the river upstream from our boats and a beaver swimming on the waters surface in the area where we were fishing. Water is high and dark colored in the Knik River side-channel following several hot sunny days.
LS USGS approaching 1200 cfs at 6 p.m.
Susitna River NOAA at PHB – 21.34 feet at 5 p.m.
June 4, 2022 — I guided a fun family group of 3 people from Jacksonville Florida on a warm sunny afternoon, and one of them caught a king salmon between 20 – 25 pounds on a Flatfish. Near the end of the trip another guest hooked a king salmon on a #6 Vibrax Spinner, but it managed to shake the hook before he could bring it to the boat for release. During the trip we saw two moose in different locations along the river, a bald eagle soaring overhead, and some ducks and other birds along the river and banks.
LS USGS approaching 1600 cfs at 10 p.m.
Susitna River NOAA at PHB – 21.5 feet at 6 p.m.
June 5, 2022 — I have a day off from guiding and will be getting gear ready to go for the next trip. Camping with friends.
LS USGS 1600 cfs
June 6, 2022 – – I went on an annual camping trip with my wife and some friends. Did some fishing caught nothing.
LS USGS avg. 1700 cfs
June 7, 2022 — Camping trip. Fished a bit, but caught nothing.
LS USGS avg. 1800 cfs
June 8, 2022 — Camping trip. fished a bit the last day of our camping trip, but we once again caught nothing.
LS USGS avg. 1350 cfs
June 9, 2022 — Back from camping, but had day off.
LS USGS avg. 1400 cfs
June 10, 2022 — I fished in a friend’s boat at Ship Creek for king salmon. There were plenty of people and other boaters, but we only saw two king salmon get caught. We did not have any bites our selves, but did see some fish rolling. Water was quite turbid where we were fishing.
LS USGS avg. 1400 cfs
June 11, 2022 — Another day off.
LS USGS avg. 900 cfs
June 12, 2022 — I guided 3 guests in the afternoon, each of whom caught a king salmon. King salmon were caught on a #6 Magnum Spinner, Flatfish, and # 6 Vibrax Spinner. During the trip everyone saw a moose along the river and some bald eagles. My guests had the opportunity to fish several spots with no other anglers, but it was a bit busy with boat traffic.
LS USGS avg. 800 cfs
June 13, 2022 — I guided a group of 3 guest, who caught 3 king salmon and a jack king salmon. All of the fish were caught by casting spinners. 2 king salmon were caught on a #5 ‘orange- bladed Magnum spinner, 1 king salmon was caught on a #7 Orange -bladed Flashtrap Spinner, and the jack king salmon was caught on a #6 Vibrax Spinner. During the trip we saw a cow moose with twin calves, a single cow moose, some bald eagles, and some ducks. A total of 99 king salmon have been counted past Deshka River weir through Sunday June 12.
LS USGS avg. 780 cfs
June 14, 2022 — I guided a husband , wife , and their two young sons for king salmon. The boys played in the boat while the parents fished. Each parent hooked a king salmon.. One was hooked on a Spinning Cheater and the other was hooked on a Flatfish. One king salmon got away and the wife caught and released the other king salmon. During the trip we saw a bald eagle and a porcupine along the river. We covered lots of water and fished plenty of prime spots while only seeing one other group fishing. Water was bait high.
LS USGS avg. 800 cfs
June 15 — I guided a group of 3 people, one of whom caught a jack king salmon on Fire Cured salmon roe fished behind a jet diver. We also saw several king salmon surface, but were unable to get any more fish to give us a good bite. During the trip we saw some bald eagles along the river.
LS USGS avg. 780 cfs
June 16, 2022 — The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today that the Deshka River and Little Susitna River will be closed to king salmon fishing starting Monday June 20, 2022.
I guided a group of 4 guest in the morning who caught and released 6 king salmon and a jack king salmon. Fish were caught on a #7 Flashtrap Spinner, #6 gold-bladed Magnum Spinner, #5 orange-bladed Magnum Spinner, and #6 Vibrax Spinner. During the trip we saw some bald eagles and ducks along the river.
I guided an afternoon group of 4 guests, 3 of whom caught a king salmon. King salmon were caught on a #6 pink Flashtrap Spinner, and #6 gold- bladed Magnum spinner. During the trip we saw bald eagles, ducks, and seal.
LS USGS avg. 800 cfs
June 17, 2022 — I guided a morning group of 4 guests, who caught 2 jack king salmon. There was a solid number of boats in the morning, but I did not see anyone that was doing very well. There were some fish rolling in the area we were fishing, but most of them seemed small — like jack king salmon. During the trip we saw 2 seals, bald eagles, and some ducks.
I guided an afternoon family group of 4 people, and even though they fished well throughout the charter, they were unable to catch a king salmon. They saw a fair number of smaller king salmon surfacing, but were unable to get many bites. The water continues to drop and clear. During the trip we saw several bald eagles, ducks, and terns. There were few other anglers on the river in the afternoon.
LS USGS avg. 800 cfs
Saturday June 18, 2022 — I guided an afternoon group of two guests who casted with spinners and backtrolled plugs, but could not manage to entice a king salmon into biting. We saw a few king salmon rolling during the trip at one particular hole, and a few additional fish here and there. During the trip we also saw a seal, ducks, and ducklings. It rained a very small bit, but I am hoping that may bring up a few more king salmon tomorrow.
SR NOAA — 19.2 feet. LS USGS avg. 700 cfs
Sunday June 19, 2022 — I guided a group of 5 guests in the morning, who caught 2 king salmon and hooked but lost a third king salmon. 1 king salmon was hooked on a #5 Magnum Spinner, 1 king salmon was hooked on a #5 Vibrax Spinner, and 1 king salmon was hooked on a #6 Vibrax Spinner. During the trip we saw a seal and some ducks.
I guided an afternoon group of 3 guests, who caught 2 king salmon and hooked but last a third king salmon. 2 king salmon were hooked on a #5 Vibrax Spinner and 1 king salmon was hooked on a. #6 Vibrax Spinner. During the trip we saw several bald eagles, a seal, 2 moose, and quite a few ducks.
King salmon fishing is scheduled to close tonight for the remainder of the season at Deshka River and Little Susitna River — I will likely have several days off in the coming week — and fishing posts may be lacking for a while.
SR NOAA — 19 feet. LS USGS avg. 680 cfs
June 20, 2022 — ADF&G announced today that all king salmon fishing will close in the entire Susitna River drainage starting Thursday June 23 — July 13, 2022. Fishing in the Susitna River drainage will remain open for other fish species.
SR NOAA — 18.7 feet. LS USGS avg. 650cfs
June 20, 21, 22 — I went camping with a nephew, a friend , and my wife.
June 23, 2022 — I spent the day working around the house and cleaning things up from our camping trip.
SR NOAA — 19 feet. LS USGS avg. 775 cfs
Friday June 24, 2022 — I guided a husband and wife to a Mat-Su Valley location in search of salmon other than king salmon. They spent the entire trip back trolling small Flatfish and Kwikfish. They caught 1 rainbow trout, 2 small king salmon, and 1 larger king salmon —- they only caught 1 fish from each of the spots where they caught fish. During the trip they saw a bald eagle, ducks, and a grizzly bear out in the water. Water level was higher than normal for this time of year with good clarity and a cool-to-the touch temperature.
SR NOAA — 19.1 feet. LS USGS avg. 780 cfs
Saturday June 25 — I am finishing up curing some salmon roe, and plan to look at a couple different fishing locations over the weekend.
SR NOAA — 19.2 feet. LS USGS avg. 720 cfs
Sunday June 26, 2022 — I took my fishing this afternoon and she caught a small king salmon on a Flatfish — which we quickly released. She had a second bite at the next hole — and after that — no more bites. We did not see any salmon surface. It will be interesting for me to see what ADF*G weir count numbers are for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Little Susitna and Deshka River weirs. We saw quite a lot of ducks and some bald eagles during the trip — and while driving to the river a fox crossed the road in front of us. SR NOAA. 19 feet LS USGS avg. 660 cfs. — Plenty of water at both Susitna and Little Susitna Rivers.
Monday June 27 — I plan to write the weekly fishing column for the Friday Frontiersman Newspaper today. Cumulative Weir counts through Sunday June 26: Deshka River – 4,278 king salmon. Little Susitna River — 991 king salmon and 875 sockeye salmon.
SR NOAA. >19 feet. LS USGS avg. 620 cfs.
Tuesday June 28, 2022 — I guided one guest who covered lots of water on the lower Little Susitna River casting spinners. We only saw a few fish surface and the one fish he caught was a small king salmon that hit a #5 Vibrax Spinner. We released the fish without removing it from the water and he continued fishing. The water was high, but fairly clear. During the trip we saw a bull moose with a damaged antler, a calf moose, some bald eagles, and ducks.
SR NOAA. est. 18.8 feet. LS USGS est. avg. 550 cfs.
Thursday June 30, 2022 — Frede and I fished with Dan Suprak and his wife Cilla in the morning. Dan and Cilla both caught small fish — what looked to be a salmon smolt and a Dolly Varden. Each of them also hooked but lost a king salmon. I foul hooked an additional king salmon, which also came loose before I could bring it to the boat. Frede friendly hooked, but lost a smaller unidentified fish. During the trip we saw 3 moose along the river. There were several other anglers in boats out trying their luck and we watched one other angler catch a king salmon.
After getting home from fishing I worked on getting some new silver salmon rod and reel combinations ready to go.
–For our next update see our July Alaska Fishing Report 2022 page–
Copper River updates
The Copper River upriver fisheries provide Mat-Su Valley and many other Alaskans residents subsistence, personal use, and sport fishing opportunities to harvest some fo the earliest running salmon of the season. Through early – mid July Copper River provides many Alaskans their most significant opportunity to harvest fresh salmon for their own consumption. Attaining enough salmon upriver to provide for these fisheries is dependent upon conservative commercial fishery management that allows sufficient salmon to migrate upstream past the commercial fishery. When excessive commercial harvest occurs before sufficient upstream salmon migration is allowed, there is significant risk salmon spawning escapement needs may not be met — and / or the more conservative upstream fisheries may need to be restricted or closed in efforts to more closely reach escapement objectives.
May 16 commercial harvest — 12,737 sockeye and 2,830 king salmon. 401 Deliveries 12 hour period. Large king salmon harvest. Less than projected sockeye harvest.
Even though sockeye harvest was less than projected in the first opening and upriver sonar counts of salmon were at less than management objective level a second opening was allowed 3 days latter.
May 19 commercial harvest — 11,698 sockeye and 2,670 king salmon. 416 Deliveries 12 hour period. Another large king salmon harvest and an even lower sockeye harvest.
Commercial fishing was not allowed on May 23, however despite upstream salmon sonar count passage failing to attain even a single daily management objective (since sonar counts were started on May 17) commercial fishing was allowed on May 26.
May 26 commercial harvest — 69,338 sockeye and 1,976 king salmon. 465 Deliveries 12 hour period. Another large king salmon harvest. First large sockeye harvest.
Commercial fishing was not allowed on May 30.
June 1 — ADF&G announced that the opening date for the upriver Chitina personal use fishery for Alaska residents would be delayed from June 7 to June 11 with the caveat, “The high water and late run timing will likely make dipnetting a challenge for the opening.”
Even with large commercial king salmon harvests having already occurred — and with the upriver personal use opening delayed, because of a shortage of salmon migrating past the sonar, and with the upstream sonar count significantly behind ADF&G’s own cumulative management objective level — a commercial opening was granted for June 2.
June 2 commercial harvest — 84,555 sockeye and 1,016 king salmon. 424 Deliveries 12 hour period. King harvest continues to decline every opening. Largest sockeye harvest to date.
ADF&G attained sonar counts exceeding daily management objective levels from June 1 – 5, however with the cumulative sonar count still 34,000 fish behind management objective level another commercial opening was granted on June 6.
June 6 commercial harvest — 63,409 sockeye and 793 king salmon. 411 Deliveries 12 hour period. 2nd Largest sockeye harvest.
Sonar counts of upriver migrating salmon continued to exceed daily management objective levels on June 6, 7, and 8*(count doubled when only 12 hours of daily sonar was attained), but remained below cumulative management objective level.
On June 9 the daily sonar count management objective was once again exceeded, and for the first time since sonar counts were started on May 17, ADF&G’s cumulative sonar count management objective was achieved for one specific date in 2022.
June 9 Commercial Harvest — 25,697 sockeye and 392 king salmon. 257 Deliveries 12 hour period. Declining commercial effort. Solid sockeye harvest / effort.
June 13 & 14 Commercial Harvest — 27,322 sockeye and 386 king salmon. 177 Deliveries. 24 hour period. Additional declining commercial effort — less than half of permits fished.
June 15, 2022 — By Emergency Order starting Monday June 20 — ADF&G restricted the Upper Copper River sport king salmon fishery to Catch and Release fishing only — and further prohibited the use of bait in the sport fishery through August 10, 2022.
June 16, 2022 — By Emergency Order starting Monday June 20 — ADF&G closed the personal use dip net fishery to retention of king salmon.
June 16 & 17 Commercial Harvest — 45,809 sockeye and 379 king salmon. 185 Deliveries. 24 hour period.
June 20 & 21 — Commercial Harvest — 36,946 sockeye and 434 king salmon. 212 Deliveries 24 hour period.
Cumulative Commercial Harvest through June 21 — 377,511 sockeye and 10,871 king salmon.
June 22, 2022 — ADGF&G announced a 36 hour commercial opening starting at 7 am June 23 –– commercial fishing within the Expanded Chinook Salmon Closure Area will be allowed. It will be interesting to see just how many king salmon are harvested during this opening as ADF&G states the commercial king salmon harvest is historically 97% complete by this date and fleet participation is currently only about one quarter of early season effort.
My Note: For the June 20/21 period there were 212 deliveries compared to the earlier season peak of 465 deliveries during the May 26 period. — my rough math shows 212 divided by 465 equals .46 (close to twice the .25 commercial effort estimation mentioned in the ADF&G announcement).
June 22, 2022 — Sport Harvest —ADF&G announced that king salmon harvest will be allowed in the Upper Cooper River sport fishery starting Monday June 27 with a 50% reduced annual limit of 2 king salmon per season.
June 22, 2022 — PU Harvest —ADF&G announced that king salmon harvest will be allowed in the Chitina personal use dip net fishery from June 27 — July 3, 2022. The annual limit is 1 king salmon per household permit.
June 23/24 Commercial Harvest — 43,628 sockeye and 274 king salmon. 269 Deliveries. 36 hour period.
Cumulative commercial harvest through June 24 — 420,607 sockeye and 11,091 king salmon.
June 27/28 Commercial Harvest — 34,193 sockeye and 192 king salmon. 192 Deliveries. 36 hour period.
June 30 /July 1/2 Commercial Harvest — 37,601 sockeye and 185 king salmon. 209 Deliveries. 48 Hours