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Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Area Sport Fishing Reports

December 02, 2015

Winter 2015 fishing opportunities

Char and Trout

Dolly Varden fishing can be productive near late season chum salmon spawning areas on the Chilkat River and also in open water 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.

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.

Coho salmon

The coho salmon runs are in October, but some fish can still be found in the Chilkoot River in November.

Results from ADF&G spawning ground surveys in October 2015 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).

Sockeye salmon

In 2015, the Chilkoot River weir counted 71,000 sockeye salmon, which is within the escapement goal range (38,000 to 86,000 sockeye salmon).

In 2015, the Chilkat River fish wheels season total sockeye count was twice the long-term average.

In 2015, the Chilkat Lake weir sockeye salmon counts finished at 135,110 fish, which is within the escapement goal range (70,000 to 150,000 sockeye salmon).

Pink salmon

The Chilkat River fish wheel pink salmon catch was 12,440 fish, the highest catch since 1999.

King salmon

Through December 31, the District 15 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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