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Area Sport Fishing Reports
September 13, 2016
King Salmon Fishing - Marine and Roadside
A few feeder king salmon were reported from anglers fishing deep on the backside of Douglas from Pt. Hilda to Middle Point. As for roadside king salmon fishing, a few spawned out, dark fish have been seen in area creeks, none of which are attractive to sport anglers. From now until next spring anglers will have much more luck trolling for feeder king salmon that will be present throughout the fall and winter in the marine waters near Juneau
King Salmon Regulations
The regional saltwater bag limits are: the bag and possession limit is 3 king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length for Alaska residents, and 1 king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length for nonresidents, with a nonresident annual limit of six king salmon. Beginning October 1 through March of 2017, sport anglers may use two rods when fishing for king salmon.
Marine creel samplers have finished sampling for the season. Marine boat anglers returning to Juneau area ports are no longer prohibited from filleting and de-heading sport caught lingcod, nonpelagic rockfish, king and coho salmon at sea as of September 11, 2016. Lingcod fishing seasons, bag and possession limits, annual limits and size limits are still in effect with the lingcod season ending November 30th. Non-pelagic rockfish and halibut size, bag and possession limits regulations are also still in effect. Sport Fishing Emergency Orders and News Releases with relevant maps and bag and possession limits can be found at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/EONR/index.cfm.
Coho salmon fishing continues to be below average in the Juneau area, but catch rates improved somewhat over the last period reported. The coho that are being caught are still larger than average, with the best catch rates coming from the hatchery cohos returning to Sheep Creek in Gastineau Channel and also west of Point Retreat from Cordwood to Funter Bay. A few cohos have also been reported from the Breadline, backside of Douglas Island, around Shelter Island, Spasski to Point Sophia in Icy Straits and from Hawk Inlet.
Note that Sheep Creek is CLOSED to salmon fishing upstream of the highway bridge, but open to snagging below the bridge. Large spinners or spoons in chartreuse or bright pink and orange are good colors to try. Fly anglers are having luck using large minnow patterns in similar colors. Coho freshwater fishing opportunities are inproving as wild fish return to their natal streams. Anglers have been reporting limited success from Montana Creek, Cowee Creek out the road, and Fish Creek on Douglas Island. There have also been reports of anglers having good luck in the Peterson Creek salt chuck near Amalga Harbor. Anglers are reminded that all Juneau area road system drainages have coho salmon limits of 2 daily, 2 in possession, 16 inches or longer. Unless otherwise noted for specific ponds, lakes and streams on the Juneau Area Road System in the Special Regulations on pages 20-21 of the Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary, bait is allowed from September 15 through November 15. For example, Anglers may use bait on Fish Creek on Douglas from September 15 through November 15. Another special bait regulation exists for those anglers less than 16 years of age who may use bait in Cowee Creek out the road from September 15 through November 15. Other systems may be closed to sport fishing or salmon fishing altogether. Again, anglers should check the Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary, page 6 for the regional bait regulation and pages 20 and 21 for specific Juneau watersheds.
Halibut and Rockfish
For the September 2 - 11 period, halibut fishing continued to be good in the Juneau area, particularly in Icy Strait. The best catches came from The Sisters and Homeshore, Spasski Island, and Point Couverden. Halibut are also still being caught near Lynn Sisters, Point Retreat, Doty's Cove, Scull Island, South Shelter, and Lincoln/Ralston Islands. Anglers are reminded that halibut limits for unguided anglers are 2 fish per day, any size with 4 in possession. Charter anglers may keep 1 fish daily, which must be less than or equal to 43 inches or greater than or equal to 80 inches in length.
There has been decent catch rates for rockfish near Pt. Retreat. Rockfish species cuaght include: Dusky, Canary, Quillback, Redstripe, Silvergrey and Yelloweye. All non-pelagic rockfish caught must be retained until the anglers bag limit is reached. These include ALL species other than Dark, Dusky, Widow, Black, Blue, and Yellowtail. For the Southeast Inside Waters around Juneau, Alaska residents may keep 3 non-pelagic rockfish daily of any size, of which only 1 may be a yelloweye. Two daily limits may be in possession. Nonresidents may keep 2 daily of any size, only 1 of which may be yelloweye, with 4 in possession, of which no more than 2 may be in possession. All yelloweye must be recorded in ink on the back of the angler's sport fishing license, or onto a harvest record card.
Anglers should consult the Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary, page 36 for identification of pelagic rockfish species and some non-pelagic species. Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Bulletin No. 25, "Guide to Northeast Pacific Rockfishes" is also an excellent reference for rockfish identification, available from the Alaska Sea Grant Program, University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Dolly Varden char, Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout fishing
Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout have been feeding on salmon eggs and salmon flesh in locals streams for several weeks now. Anglers should have luck using small spinners and spoons or egg imitation flies. The fishing should be good at Cowee, Peterson and Montana creeks through October as these fish look to fatten up before winter. Anglers will notice Dolly Varden phasing in to the dark colors. This time of year these fish really look gorgeous as fall progresses. Good luck and hopefully you can find some of these beauties in the local roadside streams.
Anglers should check the 2016 Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations for trout and Dolly Varden regulations. Juneau Area Freshwater Special Regulations for local lakes, creeks, rivers, and drainages can be found on pages 18-21. Unless otherwise specified, cutthroat and rainbow trout limits (in combination) on the Juneau Road System are 2 daily and 2 in possession, 14 inch minimum and 22 inch maximum. Dolly Varden limits are 2 daily, 2 in possession, no size limit.