King salmon continue to return to the Susitna River drainage, including a boost on returns in the Little Susitna River. In an emergency order closing all fishing for kings on the Little Su last week, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game cited low water levels as part of the problem. Over the weekend, water levels at the counting weir rose more than a foot, allowing fish to escape upriver. The biggest jump came on Saturday, when more than 600 king salmon made it upriver. As of Tuesday, nearly 1,200 kings had passed the weir. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has not lifted the closure of king fishing on the Little Su.
On the Deshka River, numbers are much higher. More than 15,000 kings have been counted on the river. The biggest days were earlier in June, but Fish and Game still shows hundreds of fish passing the Deshka weir every day. Restrictions on the Deshka have been eased, meaning bait and multiple hooks are currently allowed. The low end of the total escapement goal was 13,000, and was surpassed last week.