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Area Sport Fishing Reports
July 25, 2016
Summer 2016 fishing opportunities
The Chilkoot River sockeye salmon run is in progress. Daily weir counts averaged 1,200 fish last week. The season total through July 24 was 29,000 fish upstream through the weir. The Chilkoot River weir escapement goal range is 38,000 to 86,000 fish. The Chilkoot River is milky with glacial silt.
The Chilkat River fish wheel sockeye salmon counts are above average so far.
Char and Trout
Some Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout have moved to salt water for the summer to feed near river mouths. Dolly Varden are also following immigrating sockeye salmon up the Chilkoot River and into Chilkoot Lake.
The Chilkat River is high and turbid with summer glacier melt water, but Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout can be caught in clearwater tributaries and lakes.
Bait is prohibited when fishing in Chilkat Lake or Mosquito Lake and their inlet and outlet streams. See the Haines/Skagway area regulations for details and a map.
The sport fishing bag and possession limit is 1 king salmon 28 inches or greater in length in the waters of Lynn Canal north of Sherman Rock, including Chilkoot Inlet, Lutak Inlet, and Taiya Inlet. Non-Alaska residents must record each king salmon they harvest on the back of their license, and the non-resident annual limit is 6 kings in Southeast Alaska.
Legal-size kings were hard to find in the Skagway salt water area last week, but anglers caught and released king salmon feeders less than 28 inches in length. Hatchery-reared king salmon smolt that were released in Pullen Pond (120,000 released in 2012 and 50,000 released in 2013) are contributing to Haines and Skagway salt water sport fishing this year.
The fresh waters of Pullen Creek, including Pullen Pond in downtown Skagway, are open to king salmon fishing now through mid-September. The bag & possession limit will be 4 kings of any size, and kings caught in Pullen Creek waters will not count toward the nonresident annual limit for king salmon. This opening allows harvest of hatchery-produced king salmon that have returned to Pullen Creek. There will be no king salmon broodstock collected at Pullen Creek this year.
ADF&G is managing sport, commercial, and subsistence fisheries conservatively to meet the Chilkat River king salmon escapement goal. Learn the latest results of ADF&G's king salmon research projects in the Spring 2016 issue of Chinook News.
King salmon bag and possession limits are more liberal in other parts of Southeast Alaska where local stock abundance is not a concern.
Pink salmon counts in the Chilkoot and Chilkat Rivers are far below average this year. Pink salmon runs in the Haines and Skagway area are usually smaller in even-numbered years than in odd-numbered years because of their 2-year life cycle.