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Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Area Sport Fishing Reports

September 01, 2015

Fall 2015 fishing opportunities

Sockeye salmon

The Chilkoot River sockeye salmon run is winding down, but still last week an average of 750 fish passed upstream through the weir each day. A total of 67,000 sockeye salmon have been counted at the weir through August 23. The trend is toward an average escapement of 70,000 fish.

An article on successful fly patterns for sockeye fishing is available here. A video on a successful sockeye fishing technique in glacial waters is available here.

Sockeye salmon counts at the Chilkat River fish wheels are more than twice the average this year. The Chilkat run typically continues steadily through mid-September.

Pink salmon

The Chilkoot River pink salmon run is winding down, but there are still plenty to catch in the river and in Chilkoot Lake. Counts through the Chilkoot River weir averaged over 300 pink salmon per day last week.

The Chilkat River pink salmon run is winding down. You can catch pinks at several clearwater tributaries along the Haines Highway.

Coho salmon

The first coho salmon passed upstream at the Chilkoot River weir on August 31. Coho salmon catches in the Chilkat River fish wheels are slightly below average so far.

Coho fishing in fresh water gets going in late September when the main runs arrive and the water gets lower and clearer with cooler fall temperatures. Declining and stable low water levels usually result in good fishing conditions. The National Weather Service provides a graph of the Chilkat River water level for the past week and a forecast for the next 2 days.

Char and Trout

Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout can be caught in clear water streams and lakes. The Chilkoot River water is high but remains fairly clear. The Chilkat River is high and very silty, but some clearwater tributaries are fishable. Bait is prohibited when fishing in Chilkat Lake or Mosquito Lake and their inlet and outlet streams.

Sea-run Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout are feeding in salt water, but will soon return to large rivers and lakes for the fall and winter.

King salmon

Some feeder kings have been caught recently in Lynn Canal and Taiya Inlet.

In District 15, the bag & possession limit is 1 king salmon 28 inches or longer. This area includes Lynn Canal north of the latitude of Little Island Light, Chilkat Inlet, Chilkoot Inlet, and Lutak Inlet near Haines, and Taiya Inlet near Skagway. District 15 includes the waters north of Eagle Beach along the Juneau road system.

Non-Alaska residents must record each harvested king salmon immediately on the back of their fishing license to comply with the non-resident annual limit of 3 king salmon.

Department surveys of Chilkat River king salmon spawning grounds are nearly complete. The preliminary assessment is that the Chilkat River king salmon run met the escapement goal of 1,750 to 3,500 large kings (5 yrs old and older). Post-season analysis of 2015 catches and escapement samples will allow the department to forecast next year's run by February 2016.

About 200,000 hatchery-reared smolt were released in Pullen Pond in June 2015. These fish will return to the Skagway and Haines area as legal size kings in years 2017 through 2019.

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