Jeff Rice, Area Management Biologist
(907) 772-5227, firstname.lastname@example.org
Area Sport Fishing Reports
September 14, 2023
Coho have continued to be caught in the saltwater within the past week while the area remained dry from precipitation, but the rainfall that started yesterday should usher them into the streams quickly. If you have been trying to catch them in the freshwater lately you have likely noticed the area streams have been very dry and opportunity to advance upstream has been challenging for coho. The heavy rainfall will change that, and one could expect that the streams will fill quickly with remaining coho. While this will offer an opportunity for anglers, it's important to note that the dynamic nature of these systems take them from dry to bank full in a very short period of time. Blowout conditions are possible should the flood conditions forecasted occur.
King salmon are still being caught here and there in the saltwater. These are feeder kings that are found year-round in our area. Remember, you still need to purchase a king salmon stamp if you hope to harvest a king you happen across. A legal king salmon must be greater than 28 inches from tip of snout to tip of tail (in its natural open position). Most importantly know that as of July 15th the nonresident angler's annual harvest is limited to one king salmon and if a nonresident harvested a king salmon previously between January 1st and July 15th it applies toward that one fish annual harvest limit.
Halibut are available and can be targeted this time of year. They are often in areas where pink carcasses are being flushed out of streams after spawning and with these heavy rains that we are now experiencing will should certainly start to see that. This source of food can bring them out of the deep and up into 80-120 feet of water.
Specific to charter operators in Southeast Alaska and new this year: Monday closures. Charter vessel anglers in Area 2C may not catch and retain halibut (except GAF) on all Mondays beginning July 24, 2023, and continuing through December 31, 2023.
Dolly Varden and Cutthroat Trout
Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout are fat and happy this time of year and are a great sport fish to target in the streams. Unless otherwise specified in regulation, cutthroat and rainbow trout (in combination) bag limits are 2 per day and 2 in possession but must be a minimum of 11 inch and a maximum of 22 inches. Dolly Varden have no size limit and bag limits are 10 per day and 10 in possession.
Sport fishing for lingcod opened on May 16. Nonresident bag and possession limits have changed since last year. For Northern Southeast Nonresidents – 1 daily, 1 in possession, size limit: 30 to 35 inches in length, or 55 inches or greater in length. Annual limit of 2 fish, one of which is 30 to 35 inches in length, one of which is 55 inches or greater in length. For Southern Southeast Area Nonresidents – 1 daily, 1 in possession, size limit: 30 to 40 inches in length, or 55 inches or greater in length. Annual limit of 2 fish, one of which is 30 to 40 inches in length, one of which is 55 inches or greater in length. Alaskan Resident bag and possession remain – 1 daily, 2 in possession, no size limit.
There have been some changes to rockfish regulations since the last fishing season. Pelagic rockfish regulations remain the same with a daily bag limit of 5 and possession limit of 10 in the Petersburg, Wrangell, and Kake area. Slope and demersal shelf rockfish species both have a daily bag limit of one fish and possession limit of 2 for Alaska residents, but demersal shelf rockfish are closed to retention for nonresident anglers and yelloweye are closed to retention for all anglers. A helpful species identification guide has been published on the ADFG website. Please see current emergency orders for a full description of these management actions.
Anglers are reminded that a rockfish release device is now required to be used whenever releasing rockfish, and a rockfish release device must be onboard your vessel whenever sport fishing in marine waters.
Interactive Fishing Location Maps
Check out the wefishak page on the ADF&G website to discover popular fishing locations and information on species run timing, fishing gear selections, and boat and angler access tips thru the Sport Fish gofishak application.