When and Where to Go

When to go

Timing is everything in Alaska sport fishing. For example, salmon return to freshwater during specific time periods. Contact a BLM office or the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for detailed information about runs. If you miss the summer runs there’s always winter ice fishing!

Fisherman with fish on! Photo by Matthew Vos
Fish on! Photo by Matthew Vos

Where to go

Alaska is a mixture of public and private land. Be sure you know who owns the land you want to recreate on. Obtain permission from private landowners before crossing or using land. For detailed land ownership and easement information, contact any of the Bureau of Land Management offices in Alaska.

Before you head out to fish on public lands, check with your nearest BLM public room to learn who owns the land you need to cross to reach your destination. In some areas, the BLM has reserved roads, trails, and one-acre sites for public access across private property to reach public lands and major waterways. These reserved areas are authorized under Section 17(b) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) and are called 17(b) easements. These easements are reserved on lands con¬veyed to a Native corporation under ANCSA. Markers identify the easements as public access areas.

If you travel on a 17(b) ease¬ment to reach a public fishing area, remember that in general, fishing is not an allowable use of the easement and you may not leave the easement. You may contact the land owner to see if you can obtain a permit to fish on their land. For more information, ask the BLM public room for the 17(b) Easement brochure or view it online.

Popular BLM waterways to fish

Road vs. fly-in

Flying into remote Southwest Alaska to fish. Photo by Matthew Vos
Flying into remote southwest Alaska to fish. Photo by Matthew Vos

Despite Alaska’s great size, there are few roads in the state. Many of the most popular road-accessible fishing spots are often crowded in the summer, particularly on the weekends. You may wish to consider planning a fly-in fishing trip to a more remote area. Many airports have charter operators who can take you to uncrowded areas.

Fishing spot for physically challenged anglers

Sourdough Creek Campground, located 33 miles north of Glennallen, includes fishing ramps, trails and other devel-opments designed to provide accessible opportunities for fishing and hiking along the Gulkana Naitional Wild River.