Fishing Report: The Hooligan run at Twentymile River marks the start of the fishing season in Southcentral Alaska

While the Hooligan may be a small fish they represent a big moment, the official start of the Alaskan fishing season.
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 5:11 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - For years Alaskans have been lining the sides of Twentymile river just past Girdwood to fill their buckets with Hooligan, and this year that is where our weekly Fishing Report segment starts.

For many Alaskans this is the first chance to get their waders wet as they fill their buckets full of the small fish. While everyone on the banks is using the same method to catch the fish, they aren’t all doing the same things after. For some, they are hoping to turn the Hooligan into Halibut by using it as bait. Others they fry up the Hooligan and eat them.

“I kind of like my Hooligan kind of like a little crispy and fried with like soy sauce and rice,” said Camren Graham, who fishes for Hooligan every year with his family.

In the past two years, people have spent more time outdoors amid the pandemic looking for safe activities. According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, this year will be no different and might even be busier when you account for the number of tourists that Alaska is expecting. However, those fishing for hooligan will not have to compete with any tourists as the fishery is restricted to Alaska residents only, according to Department of Fish and Game Program Director Ryan Ragan.

“If you are going to target hooligan, dip net hooligan you do need to have a valid sports fishing license if you are required to have one and you do need to be an Alaska resident,” Ragan said.

Fishing for Hooligan is pretty simple. All you need is a medium sized dip net, a bucket — and if you really want to get in the game — a good pair of waders. This year has been a particularly good run, so it doesn’t matter as much if you go when the tide is going out or coming in. Parking is limited at Twentymile River and there is no trash service, so make sure to bring the trash you create with you when you leave the area.

The season for Hooligan fishing is as quick one, starting on April 1 and ending on May 31 in salt waters, and ending June 15 for fresh waters.

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