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Area Sport Fishing Reports
October 05, 2015
Fall 2015 fishing opportunities
Coho salmon fishing was slow on the Chilkoot River last weekend.
A pulse of coho salmon passed through the Chilkat River fish wheels last weekend, but angler success has been low.
The Chilkat River is turbid after a large rain event last week. Coho fishing should improve as the water continues to clear with cool fall 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.
ADF&G begins coho salmon escapement surveys on Chilkat River spawning streams this week.
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.
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 winding down. The season total sockeye count is twice the long-term average. The last day of fish wheel operation is October 5.
Sockeye salmon counts at the Chilkat Lake weir were very strong last week, and anglers have caught some very bright fish in Chilkat Lake. 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.
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.
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.
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 Chilkat River king salmon assessment is that the 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.