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Area Sport Fishing Reports
October 05, 2015
With the days getting shorter and snow creeping down the mountainside, its true, the summer fishing season is now behind us. Although just because the seasons are changing doesn't mean it is time to hang up the fishing rod.
Coho salmon are still being caught in marine waters but expect marine coho catch rates to decline as coho salmon are continuing to move into local streams and lakes. Coho will be present in freshwater as they complete their spawning until the end of October and occasionally later depending on the unique timing of each system. As the run progresses, expect to find coho displaying spawning colors. Coho salmon are known for being aggressive biters and often display spectacular acrobatics on sport gear. There are many coho salmon streams in the area, both on and off the road system. Try walking a coho stream and casting in deep pools, cut banks, or the slack water behind rocks and woody structure. Blind Slough near Petersburg is open to fishing for coho salmon however the tributaries leading into Blind Slough (including Manmade hole) are closed to salmon fishing.
Although the marine creel sampling program has concluded for the season, anecdotal reports indicate halibut catch rates are remaining strong. Typically halibut catch rates increase throughout the summer as theses fish migrate into the area and will remain stable throughout the early fall then decline as Halibut move towards off shore spawning grounds. Halibut are often targeted by fishing the bottom using bait and circle hooks but can also be caught by anglers while trolling for salmon.
Dolly Varden, Rainbow trout and Cuthroat trout
There are several great locations for fishing trout and Dolly Varden both on and off the road system in the Petersburg/Wrangell area. As salmon move into freshwaters to spawn fishing can be excellent. Loose eggs dropped by salmon are eagerly snatched up by trout and Dolly Varden. Anglers commonly use spinning rods with small spinners or lead head jigs and fly rods with beads or egg patterns. When fishing for trout be sure to check the "2015 Southeast Alaska Sport Fish Regulation Summary" to understand regulations for the waterbody you intend to fish. Regulations regarding size limits, bag limits and the use of bait can vary by waterbody.
King salmon catch rates have declined for the season. Anglers may continue to intercept king salmon in the marine fisheries but expect slow catch rates. When fishing for king salmon anywhere in the marine waters of the Petersburg/Wrangell management area, the regulations described in the news release "Revised Southeast Alaska Regional King Salmon Sport Fishing Regulations for 2015" are in effect. Please see the "Emergency Orders" link at the bottom of this page for this announcement.
Anglers are reminded that Alaska resident anglers may use two rods when fishing for king salmon this winter between October 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016. When using two rods anglers may only retain king salmon.