Eklutna Tailrace

This unique fishery, about 25 miles north of Anchorage, is comprised of a small, artificial eddy of water that comes down from a power plant and connects to the main stem, Knik River. The glacial-fed water looks murky and blue-gray, and there’s very little current. While you won’t find much solitude here, you can usually find a spot to set up a lawn chair for some lazy fishing. There’s abundant parking, too, as well as restrooms.

Free-for-All for Kings

The main fishing area—stocked with kings and silvers as well as pinks, chum, and dollies—is at the confluence of the tailrace with the Knik River. Because it’s an artificial fishery, this tends to be one of the least regulated fisheries in South Central Alaska. That means that king fishing usually remains open here even while most South Central king fisheries have been closed in recent years, due to poor king returns. That combination of easy access and few regulations has made this one of the most popular areas to fish salmon around Anchorage.

Bring the Right Bait

There isn’t a whole lot of tree cover here, so the best times to fish come at dawn and dusk, where the shadows put the fish at ease (the mid-day sun can make the kings and silvers a little skittish). Bait fishing is the primary tackle here: salmon roe fished on the bottom is effective.

As an alternative, if there aren’t too many other lines to get tangled with, you could try floating roe down under a bobber, which will cover more water. If you don’t want to fish bait, go with standard Alaska fishing lures, such as Vibrax and Pixees, which will work well. You’ll want to use bright colors, too, since the silty water makes it hard for fish to see.

Getting There

Latitude: 61.476559
Longitude: -149.163115
Driving Directions