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Area Sport Fishing Reports
April 27, 2017
The 2017 fishing season is here! Longer days, warming water, and increasing catch rates mean it’s time to get out fishing. This is the first sport fishing report of the 2017 season.
King salmon catch rates in marine waters have started to increase over winter catch rates and anglers can expect catch rates to continue to pickup through the month of May. The outlook for king salmon fishing in the 2017 season is not especially good as poor marine survival conditions have persisted for Southeast Alaska wild index stocks. The local Stikine River preseason king salmon forecast is near the low end of the escapement goal range and restrictive action is being taken in sport and commercial fisheries to conserve Stikine River king salmon. For sport fishing anglers in the Petersburg and Wrangell area this means a reduced bag and possession limit when fishing in the marine waters near the mouth of the Stikine River (district 8) between May 1st and June 15th, 2017. Please see the link for “emergency orders” at the bottom of this page for details and a map of district 8. New’s releases with this information has also posted near the entrance to harbors and boat launches.
Until May 1st, 2017 all marine waters in the Petersburg and Wrangell area fall under the regional king salmon regulations:
Resident anglers: bag and possession limit of 2 king salmon, 28” or greater in length
Nonresident anglers: bag and possession limit of 1 king salmon, 28” or greater in length. Annual limit of 3 king salmon, 28”or greater in length which must be recorded on the back of your sport fishing license or harvest record card immediately after landing.
For those anglers crazy about steelhead. The steelhead season is well underway and we are nearing the time period of peak in-river abundance as steelhead begin to spawn. Water temperatures and run timing appear to be near long term averages, a change after the prior two years of warm waters and earlier action. Survey counts and angler reports have thus far indicated an above average year for steelhead. Anglers can expect steelhead fishing opportunity to taper off as we get into the month of May.
Dolly Varden, Rainbow trout and Cutthroat 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 "2017 Southeast Alaska Sport Fish Regulation Summary"(available anywhere licenses are sold or on the 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 remain stable throughout the early fall