Fishing

man fishing in a lake, surrounded by forest and tall mountains

Cresent Lake and the nearby Cresent River are among the most popular fishing destinations in the park.

NPS Photo / M. Richotte

Lake Clark provides excellent fishing opportunities for adventurous anglers. The park and preserve includes some of the most pristine fishery habitats in the National Park system. In fact, one of the original purposes in the founding legislation is preservation of the watershed for the perpetuation of the sockeye salmon fishery.

This fishing season runs primarily from May through October, with the peak season in July and August. Lakes may not be ice free until June.

 

Where to Fish

Mountain lakes and streams nestled among the jagged spires of the Alaska Range contain a combination of arctic char, arctic grayling, Dolly Varden, lake trout, rainbow trout, northern pike, and all five species of pacific salmon. Listed below are just a few places you can try your luck.

Crescent Lake
Located in the heart of the spectacular Chigmit Mountains, it's no wonder Crescent Lake is the park's most popular fishing destination.

Silver Salmon Creek
Anglers at Silver Salmon Creek will find themselves in the company of brown bears.

 
Key:
● = Present = Uncommon = Probable



Crescent
Lake
Kijik
Lake
Kontrashibuna
Lake
Lake
Clark
Snipe
Lake
Telaquana
Lake
Turquoise
Lake
Twin
Lakes
Chinook/King
Salmon
Chum/Dog
Salmon
Coho/Silver
Salmon
Mid Aug to
Early Sep
Humpback/Pink
Salmon
Sockeye/Red
Salmon
Mid to
late July
July to
October
July to
October
Mid July
to ?
Arctic Char
Arctic Grayling
Burbot
Dolly Varden
Lake Trout
Northern Pike
Rainbow Trout

 

Chilikadrotna
River
Chokotonk
River
Chulitna
River
Kijik
River
Mulchatna
River
- salmon
below
Bonanza Hills
Silver Salmon
Creek
Tanalian
River
Tlikakila
River
Chinook/King
Salmon
July to Oct

Chum/Dog
Salmon
July to Oct
Coho/Silver
Salmon
July to Oct

Aug to Sep
Humpback/Pink
Salmon
Sockeye/Red
Salmon
July to Oct

Arctic Char
Arctic Grayling
Burbot
Dolly Varden below
Bonanza Hills
Lake Trout upper mile
Northern Pike
Rainbow Trout
below
Bonanza
Hills

 
a fisherman by a gently-flowing river, trees and mountain in the background

It is important to stay alert and keep all your personal gear immediately with you while fishing in bear country.

NPS Photo / K. Jalone

Fishing in Bear Country
It is important that we don't teach bears that anglers can provide an easy meal!

Bears Have Rights to the Prime Fishing Sites
  • Fish are a critical food source for bears; give them plenty of time and room to fish.
  • If a bear approaches while you are fishing, ensure you are not blocking its path. Back away from the shore and allow the bear to pass or fish.
  • Find a new fishing site if yours is claimed by a bear.
Splashing Fish Attracts Bears
  • If a bear is near enough to notice a fish splashing---STOP FISHING!
  • If a bear approaches while you have a fish on the line, give it slack or cut the line to eliminate splashing and prevent the bear from taking the fish away from you.
  • If a bear attempts to take fish from you, surrender your catch to the fast moving current.
Secure Your Catch
  • Fish remains attract bears. Clean your fish at the beach or shore and cast all remains into the ocean, lake, or river.
  • If there are bears on the beach, it may be best to wait until you leave the area to clean your fish.
  • Immediately store your fish in a bear-resistant container (available from your guide or from the ranger station at Silver Salmon Creek or the Visitor Center in Port Alsworth).
Fish and Travel in the Open
  • Avoid places where geographic factors, such as heavy cover, prevent you from seeing what's ahead.
  • Be alert and noisy in areas where the sound of running water may prevent you from hearing bears, and vise versa.
  • Remember, bears that are surprised are dangerous.
 

For More Information

 

State of Alaska Fishing Regulations
Anglers are required to abide by all state of Alaska fishing regulations. Licenses can be purchased at most lodges in Port Alsworth, and tags can be obtained at Lake Clark Air.

 
Catch and Release Fishing - Proper catch and release fishing methods increase the chances of survival for the fish you choose not to keep.
 

Mercury in Fish
Lake Trout and Northern Pike in some locations throughout the park and preserve contain unusually high levels of mercury.

 
Fish
Learn about the fish that live in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve.
 

Watersheds
Learn more about the two watersheds that provide these excellent fishing opportunities in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve.

 

Getting to Lake Clark
Most visitors arrive by small plane. Find an air taxi service that will suit your needs.

 

Staying Safe in Bear Country
Find more information on staying safe while visiting bear country.

Did You Know?