Chena River Lakes Flood Control Project
Construction began in 1973, and the Corps completed the $256 million Chena Project in 1979. A key component of the dam and levee system, located about 20 miles east of Fairbanks, was the massive concrete outlet works and flood gates. During normal fluctuations of the Chena River, the outlet works remained open, allowing the natural flow of water. Fish, as well as boats, continued to travel through the open gates. At periods of high water, however, the Corps lowered the flood gates, directing excess water to the Tanana River. In 1987, the Fairbanks North Star Borough assumed responsibility for operation and maintenance of the levee and drainage channels. (Excerpt from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)
Photo Courtesy Jason and Hillary Midgley
A king salmon annual limit of one was established by emergency order for Tanana River tributaries. In addition, the use of bait is prohibited in all tributaries of the Tanana River. King salmon are moving up the Chena and Salcha rivers at this time. The Chena and Salcha are tributaries of the Tanana and are subject to the emergency order.
Try fishing for Arctic grayling in the Delta Clearwater River. At this time, the bag and possession limit for grayling in the Delta Clearwater River is one, which must be 12” or less. Only one, unbaited, single-hook artificial lure or fly may be used.
The Chena River is clearing, so fishing should be picking up.
Remember that Arctic grayling fishing is catch and release only in the Chena River and all of its tributaries, including Badger Slough. Only one, unbaited, single-hook artificial lure may be used.
Try fishing some of the over 95 stocked lakes of the Tanana Drainage. Most stocked lakes bag and possession limit is 10 of stocked species, only one over 18 inches.
This report will be updated as conditions warrant.
Thanks and good fishing!
Klaus Wuttig, Area Management Biologist