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Area Sport Fishing Reports
Sitka

September 21, 2021

NEW! Check out the new gofishak interactive map to discover popular fishing locations and information on species run timing, fishing gear selections, and boat and angler access tips!

Just a reminder to all our anglers, please do your part to help slow the spread of Covid-19 by following and reviewing the current State of Alaska Health Mandates in effect. This includes practicing social distancing and wearing a face covering while sport or personal use fishing and when buying fishing supplies from your local store as indicated in Health Alert 012.

For more information on travel restrictions please visit the State of Alaska Traveler Information page.

Salmon

King

Fishing Is open to all anglers again as of September 1. Marine fishing effort has dropped to only a fraction of the effort seen during the peak season but king catch rates (while substantially lower than during the peak summer months) have been relatively good the last two weeks. From October 1 through March 31, 2022, sport anglers may use two rods when fishing for king salmon. Anglers fishing under this regulation may only retain salmon.

Coho

Fishing is good right now, with anglers reporting success everywhere from Cape Edgecumbe to close to town. Coho has begun to move into local freshwaters where fishing will be good through early October. These fish make for a great fight in the stream but be careful not to blow your cover! Please be aware that Bear cove and Deep Inlet will be closed to coho fishing.

Pinks and Chums

They are well into their freshwater phase but can still be found hanging out in most streams. Be sure to keep an extra eye out for bears if you’re walking near freshwaters.

Local sockeye runs have wrapped up with a total of 60,004 fish having passed the weir at Redoubt Lake this year.

Groundfish

Halibut

Fishing is good right now. Try off the mouths of streams as these fish tend to lurk for spawned out pinks and chums that are washed out of the river. Be patient as it can take a little while for halibut to key in on the scent of your bait. Be sure to have a deepwater release device ready to send back down any rockfish you may catch on accident. Fishing for Demersal Shelf Rockfish is closed for the year, but anglers are allowed one Slope Rockfish and 3 Pelagic Rockfish for nonresidents and 5 Pelagic Rockfish for residents in the Sitka Area. Fishing for Pelagic Rockfish (like Yellowtail or Black Rockfish) is good all year. These rockfish make for excellent table fare in the winter when salmon are harder to come by.

The department has developed a guide to assist anglers in identifying species groupings.

Lingcod

Fishing is still good. Try fishing around rock piles and thump the bottom with a leadhead jig to draw in one of these voracious predators. Lingcod season closes on November 30.

Shellfish

Be sure to check your local fishing regulations to be aware of harvest limits and size requirements for shellfish. Also, be aware that certain types of shellfish in Southeast Alaska have been known to cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) which can be fatal.

For Dungeness crab, try placing pots in bays and around the mouths of the river where crabs congregate to feed. If fishing with friends, be sure to keep each angler’s catch separate to avoid pooling bag limits.

Freshwater

Dolly Varden and Rainbow/Cutthroat Trout/Coho Salmon

Dollys and rainbow/cutthroat trout can be targeted year-round in freshwaters. Currently fishing for dollys is good as they make their way from the ocean into the streams. Try fishing around structures in the stream but be careful not to lose your lure. These fish make for a fun fight and don’t require a boat to get good access.

There are several lakes on the Sitka Road System that contain rainbow, cutthroat, and brook trout, as well as grayling and Dolly Varden. See the new interactive map for more details.

Coho salmon will be nearing the peak of their migration back to freshwaters in the next couple of weeks. If you want to fish for coho in streams, the next couple of weeks will be the best time of the year to do it.

A few regulation reminders

Anglers may now fillet or de-head their lingcod, rockfish, king or coho prior to returning to port.

King Salmon

Alaskan Resident

  • The resident bag and possession limit is one king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length.
  • From October 1, 2021, through March 31, 2022, a sport angler may use two rods when fishing for king salmon, a person using two rods under this regulation may only retain salmon.

Nonresident

  • From August 1 through August 31, 2021 nonresidents may not retain or possess king salmon; any king salmon caught must be released immediately and returned to the water unharmed;
  • The nonresident bag and possession limit is one king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length;
  • The nonresident total harvest limit is one king salmon 28 inches or greater in length, and any king salmon harvested by a nonresident from January 1 through July 31 will apply toward the one fish nonresident total harvest limit;
  • Immediately upon landing and retaining a king salmon a nonresident must enter the species, date, and location on their sport fishing license or on a nontransferable harvest record.

Rockfish

Demersal Shelf Rockfish

In 2021, Demersal Shelf Rockfish (DSR) fishing is closed. DSR is a subset of nonpelagic rockfish including Yelloweye, Quillback, China, Tiger, Rosethorn, Copper, and Canary.

Anglers are allowed one slope rockfish daily, with 1 in possession. The most common slope rockfish include Redbanded, Rougheye, Silvergray, Shortraker, and Vermilion.

Pelagic Rockfish

Pelagic rockfish is open year-round. Anglers are allowed 5 daily, 10 in possession, with the exception of CSEO (Sitka Area), where non-residents are allowed 3 daily, 6 in possession. See the Sitka Area Special Exceptions for a map of CSEO on page 24 of the Southeast regulation summary.

The department has developed a guide to assist anglers in identifying species groupings.

As of 2020, anglers are required to use a rockfish release device to return rockfish that are not harvested to the depth of capture or 100 feet, whichever is shallower. Please see the “Southeast Alaska Sport Fish Regulation Summary” or visit your local ADF&G office to see examples of rockfish release devices and learn about their use.

Lingcod

The season for lingcod began May 16th and will run through November 30th. Retention is prohibited throughout the remainder of the year to protect spawning lingcod. The size limit for lingcod for nonresidents has increased to 30-40 inches or over 55 inches, with an annual limit of two fish, one in the 30-40 inch class and one above 55 inches. Residents do not have a size limit and their bag limit is one lingcod daily, with a possession limit of two lingcod.

Shellfish

Double-check that your gear meets legal requirements where escape mechanisms, ring sizes, and buoy requirements are concerned. See the shellfish section of the Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing regulation Summary or check out this video: Southeast Pot Regulations

Anglers of shrimp fishing are required to obtain a free permit for sport, personal use, and subsistence shrimp harvest for each calendar year. 2021 Southeast Shrimp Permits are available online at the ADF&G store or at your local ADF&G office. The shrimp harvest, location, and a number of pots pulled must be recorded each day, and the permit must be returned to ADF&G or reported online at the end of the year. Sport shrimping is closed in Sitka Sound, but this generally only affects nonresidents as most resident anglers harvest shrimp under the more liberal personal use regulations. Please also be aware of the closure boundary in Hoonah Sound.

For further information, please feel free to contact the Sitka area sportfish management staff at (907) 747-5355.

Archives

Sitka Area Archives for:
Sep 21, 2021 Aug 26, 2021 Jul 28, 2021 Jul 08, 2021 Jun 11, 2021 Jun 04, 2021 May 06, 2021 Apr 02, 2021
Mar 25, 2021 Feb 23, 2021

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