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Area Sport Fishing Reports
May 17, 2016
The 2016 fishing season is here! Longer days, warming water, and strengthening catch rates mean it is time to get out fishing. During mid-May saltwater effort is rapidly increasing as anglers start the marine fishing season. The Wrangell king salmon fishing derby began May 14th and continues until June 12th. The Petersburg king salmon derby will be held May 27th-30th.
We are now in the season for fishing king salmon. Catch rates typically increase throughout May until peaking in late May-June although king salmon can be intercepted throughout the year in local waters. The last week of marine sport fish sampling observed increasing numbers of king salmon landed on the docks as more boats were out fishing and more king salmon are moving into the area. The 2016 regional king salmon regulations have been issued, please see the link to the news release at the bottom of this page for 2016 sport fishing king salmon limits. In the local area, Stikine River King salmon returns are projected to be strong. Special regulations have been issued to increased opportunity within the marine waters immediately adjacent to the Stikine River (district 8). Please see the link to the news release for the Stikine River also at the bottom of this page. News releases are also posted near the entrance to harbors and boat launches in Petersburg and Wrangell.
The freshwater steelhead fishing season is winding down. Steelhead can be found in many local streams and rivers as they return to spawn during the spring. This year we have observed an earlier than average run timing which means that the best fishing period is behind us. Steelhead are still present in most systems and ocean bright fish can still be found. Expect steelhead fishing opportunity to taper off as we get farther into the month of May.
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. With the warming freshwater temperatures anglers often find these fish active and aggressive. Dolly Varden can also be an exciting catch in the nearshore marine waters. When fishing for trout be sure to check the "2016 Southeast Alaska Sport Fish Regulation Summary"(available anywhere licenses are sold or on the ADF&G website) 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.
Halibut are currently being caught in local waters. Halibut catch rates typically increase throughout the summer as these fish migrate into the area and then remain stable throughout the early fall.