One of the primary reasons Lake Clark National Park and Preserve was established was protect a portion of the Bristol Bay watershed for the perpetuation of the sockeye salmon fishery. The watershed, the world's most productive spawning and rearing habitat for sockeye salmon, contributes about 50% of sockeye salmon caught in Bristol Bay. This represents 33% of the entire U.S. catch, and 16% of the total world catch. Spectacular lakes and wild rivers fill the valleys, flowing southwestward to Bristol Bay.
Fish include five species of salmon, rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, lake trout, northern pike, and arctic grayling. Crystal clear and glacial fed mountain lakes nestled among the jagged spires of the Alaska Range contain a combination of arctic grayling, Dolly Varden, several species of salmon, lake trout, and northern pike. The northern area of the park includes such major resources as Two Lakes, Twin Lakes, Telaquana, and Turquoise Lake. Lake Clark itself is fished for grayling, lake trout, Dolly Varden, northern pike, and red salmon. Other lakes that provide opportunities for recreational fishing include Kontrashibuna, Crescent, Portage, Lachbuna, Kijik, Fishtrap, and Tazimina Lakes, in addition to many smaller lakes. Two of the three wild and scenic rivers, the Mulchatna and the Chilikadrotna, provide exceptional floating experiences and the opportunity to fish for red and king salmon, grayling, Dolly Varden, and rainbow trout. The Tlikakila River, although an excellent float trip, is too glacial to support a sizeable population of game fish.
The lower Chulitna River, with its non-glacial waters flowing through tundra and marshes in the southern preserve, has northern pike. Other rivers which will provide good fishing opportunities in and around the park include the Tanalian, Kijik, Tazimina, Necons, Stony, and Telaquana Rivers and Currant Creek. Several streams flow southeast into Cook Inlet, providing habitat for spawning red and silver salmon. These include the Crescent and Johnson Rivers in addition to Shelter and Silver Salmon Creeks. Adjacent saltwater provides good opportunity to fish for halibut.