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Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Area Sport Fishing Reports

November 05, 2015

Late fall 2015 fishing opportunities

Coho salmon

Roadside creel surveys have ended for the year.

Coho salmon catch rates on the Chilkoot River were very good for the few anglers present during the last weekend of October. Boating anglers at the lake outlet did especially well.

Coho salmon catch rates on the Chilkat River were poor during the last weekend of October, with continued turbid waters, and fishing effort was very low. 

The Chilkat River is settling down to normal height and the water is clearing with recent cool temperatures. 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. Declining and stable low water levels usually result in good fishing conditions.

Results from ADF&G spawning ground surveys in October showed the Chilkat River coho salmon escapement is about 49,000 fish, which is in the middle of the escapement goal range (30,000 to 70,000 fish). Spawning ground survey counts declined in the last week of October, indicating normal run timing.

Char and Trout

Dolly Varden fishing has been good near chum spawning areas on the Chilkat River and on the Chilkoot River. Bait is prohibited when fishing in Chilkat Lake or Mosquito Lake and their inlet and outlet streams. See the Haines area sport fishing regulations for specifics

Sockeye salmon

The Chilkoot River sockeye salmon run is finished. The Chilkoot River weir counted 71,000 sockeye salmon from early June through September 8, when the weir was removed for the year.

Sockeye salmon counts at the Chilkat River fish wheels are finished. The season total sockeye count was twice the long-term average. The last day of fish wheel operation was October 5.

Sockeye salmon counts at the Chilkat Lake weir finished at 135,110 fish, which is within the escapement goal range (70,000 to 150,000 sockeye salmon).

Pink salmon

The Chilkoot River and Lake pink salmon run is finished.

The Chilkat River pink salmon run is finished. This year's total fish wheel catch of 12,440 pink salmon was the highest since 1999.

King salmon

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

From October 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016, all sport anglers may use 2 rods while fishing for king salmon in Southeast Alaska salt waters.

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.

The department's 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 ADF&G 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. No future king salmon smolt releases are planned at this time.

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