Fishing Eklutna Tailrace

Tailrace Kings
Tailrace Silvers

The Best Resource for Fishing Alaska

Alaska Fishing

By Rene Limeres

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

Fishing the Eklutna Tailrace

Fishing Ship Creek Anchorage Alaska

People gathering along the banks of the Eklutna Tailrace. Photo Use Policy.

Location: Mile 3.6 on the Old Glenn Highway
Maps:USGS Anchorage B-7 NW
     Delorme page 82-83
Fishing Pressure: Light to Heavy
Key Species: King Salmon, Silver Salmon
Tides: Anchorage Tide Chart

The new Eklutna Tailrace fishery has been created for a couple of reasons. First, the ADFG is hoping to ease some of the pressure put on wild King Salmon stocks in the upper Cook Inlet. Second, they hoped to create a new sport fishery in the Anchorage area. Time will tell how much pressure is taken off the wild stocks in the area, but it is already obvious that a new king fishery in the Anchorage area is causing some buzz.

The tailrace is a terminal fishery of stocked Silver and King Salmon fry. It can’t be considered a pristine fishing experience, but it is far removed from the urban areas of Anchorage and the growing communities of the Mat-Su valley. At times the crowds get pretty thick and may continue to grow during the King Salmon season as the fishery matures. The ADFG plans to continue to improve and develop the area around the tailrace.

The fishable area is just a short stretch below the Eklutna Power plant, running just a short distance before dumping into the Knik River. The glacially silted water flows from the Plant through a channel with access but limited fishing space. It really isn’t a pristine fishing experience, but it is a well thought out terminal fishery that gives the road angler one of their best opportunities at tying into a king. For that alone, this is a very welcome addition to the Anchorage fishing scene.

Eklutna Tailrace Salmon Runs

It is a still too early to know the timings for the Eklutna Tailrace salmon runs. But, they should be close to other runs in other upper Cook Inlet rivers. The King Salmon are an early run strain and should return in May and peak in June.The Silver Salmon should follow typical run times for the surrounding creeks. They should start returning in July with a peak in August.

Other than the salmon, there are a few Dollly Varden that enter the tailrace. It may be possible to pick up and incidental Dolly or two but the tailrace is all about the salmon.

General Eklutna Tailrace Fishing Regulations

The Eklutna Tailrace is a pretty liberal fishery as far as regulations go. King Fishing will be allowed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 Days a year. Granted the huge fishing window is pretty meaningless because the kings will only be in the area during their return run. The area opened to King fishing include all waters of the tailrace up to a marker that is 100 feet downstream of the Old Glenn Highway and all waters of the Knik river in a half mile radius of where the tailrace meets the Knik River.

Bait is allowed in the tailrace and may be the most effective way to get fish in the somewhat glacially tinted waters. Remember the daily bag limit on Kings is one. So, once you harvest a King Salmon over 20 inches, you must stop fishing for the day and immediately enter the fish on your harvest record card.





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