Fishing Eklutna Tailrace

Tailrace Kings
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Alaska Fishing

By Rene Limeres

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Home > Fishing > Locations > South Central > Anchorage > Eklutna Tailrace > King Salmon


Eklutna Tailrace King Salmon Run


2005 Season: Year round
Average Size:
15 to 25 lbs.
1 Daily
Run Size:
Approx. 4000

King Salmon Ship Creek
Image Provided by FWS Image Library
If you have a picture of a tailrace King
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About the Run

The Eklutna King Salmon run is an artificial fishery created by the Alaskan Department of Fish and Game intended to increase sportfishing opportunities for Kings in the upper Cook Inlet and take some of the pressure off wild stocks. Sportfishermen should be very happy to have another King Salmon spot in the area. Right now the only other King fishery near Anchorage is Ship Creek.

The ADFG’s current stocking plans are to stock 100,000 to 150,000 King smolt into the tailrace each year to get a return of 4,000 to 5,000 Adult Kings each year. The first stocking year was in 2002. Because Kings remain in saltwater for an average of three to five years, the King fishery at the tailrace still has a few years to mature. It will be interesting to see how the fishery developes. 2005 should be the first year of decent King fishing here, with even bigger fish returning over the next few years.

Because there will be no eggs collected or need to maintain wild stocks, there is no need for escapement. In an ideal world, all returning salmon will be harvested.

When to Fish

The smolt that have been stocked into the Eklutna Tailrace are early run Kings. They should start returning in early may and continue through July. There should be a peak through June and Early July.

Currently Kings are open year round at the tailrace, but there is little chance of picking up a King outside the run times.


Many of the typical regulations for Kings are in effect at the tailrace. The daily limit of Kings longer than 20 inches is still one. If you harvest a King at the tailrace, you must immediately stop fishing and mark the fish onto your harvest record card. There is no snagging allowed.

There are some ways that the Eklutna Tailrace is a little more liberal than some fisheries. Bait and all types of lures are available. And King fishing is open year round in the fishing area around the tailrace.

The fishable areas include the tailrace downstream of the marker that is 100 foot downstream of the Old Glenn Highway bridge. Also you are allowed to fish for Kings in the waters of the Knik River that are within one half mile of the mouth of the Eklutna Tailrace. Please check for current regulations and possibly emergency orders. It is possible that the ADFG might allow snagging to salvage Kings before the start to spawn out.

Suggested Gear

Artificial Lures
Assorted Spoons 1⁄2 to 1 ounce
Vibrax or Mepps spinners Sizes 4-6
Yarn or Coho Flies

4/0 – 6/0 hooks
20-40 Pound Leaders
Salmon Eggs
Weights 3/8, 1⁄2 and 3⁄4 oz





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