Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Fish in the Mat-Su

The rivers, lakes and streams in the Mat-Su are home to numerous species of fish including five species of salmon, trout, grayling, char, Dolly Varden, burbot, sticklebacks, lamprey, burbot and eulachon. These fish are important food sources for Alaskans and the many wildlife species that depend on them. For information about fish species and fishing opportunities in the Mat-Su, contact Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Palmer office. Learn why the Mat-Su is known as the "stillwater fishing capital of Alaska".

Mat-Su Salmon Habitat

The Mat-Su Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership was formed in 2005 to protect salmon and their habitat.   The Partnership is a coalition of over 50 member organizations who work to protect salmon through science, education and conservation activities.  MSBSHP annually awards grants for projects that restore salmon habitat, gather data about salmon distribution and educate the public about salmon life cycles.  For more information about the Partnership, go to

Fish Passage

thumb Culvert map 2008Culverts that carry water under highways, neighborhood roads and driveways can impede the passage of fish to their spawning and rearing habitats if not adequately sized or properly installed.  The Mat-Su Borough, in partnership with ADF&G, US Fish and Wildlife Service and other organizations has an ongoing program to identify and replace culverts that block fish passage.  In 2008, 39% of the culverts in the core area of the Mat-Su were identified as inadequate to pass juvenile fish, 41% as marginal, 11 % adequate and 9% restored.  By 2014, after several years of restoration projects, 17% of the culverts had been restored and 16% were adequate for fish passage (See 2014 map). Nearly 100 culverts have been made passable through the fish passage program since 2001.

In 2013, the Mat-Su Borough Assembly adopted construction standards for design and installation of culverts to provide for adequate fish passage (Ord 13-097).  Any new roads that cross anadromous (salmon) streams, must be constructed according to MSB standards for culvert design and installation.

For more information about culvert construction standards and fish passage restoration projects, contact MSB Public Works.


The MSB Fish and Wildlife Commission, formerly the Mayor's Blue Ribbon Sportsmen's Committee, was formed in February 2007 to represent the interests of the Borough in the conservation and allocation of fish, wildlife and habitat. The commission meets monthly throughout the year and publishes reports and studies about Upper Cook Inlet fishery research and management issues.

For more information please refer to the Fish and Wildlife Commission.