Angler sinks deep into thick mud and gets trapped while fishing in Alaska river

A fisherman was rescued after sinking into thick mud and getting trapped in an Alaska river, rescuers said.

Bystanders tried to help the man, who got stuck while hooligan fishing in Twentymile River on Sunday, May 7, Girdwood Fire and Rescue said in a Facebook post.

They called 911 after trying to free him from the Turnagain Arm mud flats for an hour, rescuers said, Anchorage Daily News reported.

After arriving, it took the fire department 14 minutes to free the man “using a mud rescue tool,” Girdwood Fire Chief Michelle Weston told KTUU.

The man was released after a medical evaluation, rescuers said.

This was the second call the fire department has responded to this hooligan fishing season, rescuers said. In the first call, the patient was able to free themself.

Hooligan is a type of “anadromous smelt that makes its way into a number of rivers in Alaska during the spring spawning run,” according to Alaska Outdoors Supersite.

The hooligan fishing season typically opens in April with the peak of the season beginning in mid- to late May, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

“The season closes in salt waters on May 31 and June 15 for fresh waters,” the department said.

Those who plan on going hooligan fishing should “call 911 if they get up to the knee in mud or higher,” Weston told KTUU. They should also have spare clothes and ideally fish with a partner.

Turnagain Arm sits just south of Anchorage.

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