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Area Sport Fishing Reports
July 25, 2016
Sport Fishing in the Juneau Area
King Salmon Fishing - Marine and Roadside
King salmon catch rates for marine boat anglers around the Juneau area from July 10 to July 17 have stabilized at lower harvest rates as fewer spawners are available and fishermen begin to target feeder kings. A few king salmon were caught in outer Auke Bay and the backside of Douglas. Otherwise, catch rates continued to be better for the outside coast, especially Deer Harbor and around Efin Cove. On the Juneau road system, a few hatchery kings are still being caught at Fish Creek Pond on Douglas Island. Anglers are reminded that snagging is allowed in the pond, but not in the creek or at the mouth of the creek for a 200-yard radius out into saltwater. Since all king salmon found in freshwaters along the Juneau road system are from the hatchery, all anglers fishing Juneau freshwaters may keep 4 king salmon, with 4 in possession with no annual limits. Targeting king salmon and all snagging within a 200-yard radius of the Macauley Hatchery Wayside Park Fishing Dock is prohibited to allow more king salmon to be recovered for broodstock needs. This closure is in effect because hatchery returns are the lowest on record. All snagging is prohibited and king salmon may not be snagged, targeted, retained or possessed. If caught, king slamon must be released immediately.
King Salmon Regulations
To allow anglers access to hatchery king salmon, the area north of the Juneau Douglas Bridge to a line from Outer Point to the Portland Island navigational aid and then to Point Louisa has liberalized bag and possession limits of 4 king salmon of any size within this area. These fish do not count towards nonresident annual limits.
Juneau roadside freshwaters also have liberalized bag and possession limits for hatchery king salmon of 4 king salmon of any size and any harvested king salmon do not count towards nonresident's annual limit.
The regional bag limits outside of those areas listed above are: the king salmon bag and possession limit is three king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length for Alaskan Residents, and one king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length for nonresidents, with a nonresident annual limit of six king salmon.
Anglers should consult the Sport Fishing Emergency Orders and News Releases for relevant maps and bag and possession limits at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/EONR/index.cfm. The maps provided with the News Releases are especially helpful in describing the hatchery harvest area, the closure area around the Wayside Park fishing dock, and for the general Southeast Alaska king salmon regulatory boundaries.
Public boat anglers and charter captains are reminded to please allow marine creel samplers access to their salmon catch, so that samplers can look for adipose-clipped fish that carry coded-wire-tags in their noses, and to take genetics samples and length measurements. This data collection is vital to the longterm conservation of the stocks that all anglers rely on for recreational harvest.
Although king salmon marine boat catch rates have dropped off, other salmon are being caught in increasing numbers although still below average. Ocean bright chum salmon have been reported in decent numbers west of Point Retreat to Cordwood and the Hawk Inlet shoreline. Also, increasing numbers of pink salmon were reported from Hawk Inlet to Cordwood, Fritz Cove/Auke Bay and around Shelter Island. Coho catches continued to increase with reported harvest from Funter to Cordwood, North Pass, Shelter Island, outer Auke Bay and Doty Cove.Coho harvest also increased in Icy Strat from Whitestone to Excursion, and from the outer coast as reported by anglers returning to Elfin Cove and Gustavus.
Halibut and Rockfish
Halibut harvest remained high compared to the week prvious. Boat anglers fishing near Juneau reported catching halibut and rockfish from a variety of areas from Berner's Bay to Scull Island. West of Pt Retreat, anglers continue to have success from Saint James to Couverden Rock, and Port Frederick to Porpoise Islands and Homeshore. Rockfish species harvested included Quillback, Dusky, Silvergrey, Yelloweye.
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.
All non-pelagic rockfish caught must be retained until their 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. Charter anglers are reminded that nonpelagic rockfish and halibut must not be filleted or deheaded prior to docking so that ADF&G sampling technicians can get length measurements.
Anglers should consult the Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary, page 36 for identification of pelagic 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.
No lingcod have been reported from the immediate Juneau area, but have been reported from outside waters around Elfin Cove. Alaskan residents may keep 1 lingcod daily with 2 in possession, no size limits. Nonresidents may keep 1 lingcod daily with 1 in possession, annual limit of 2. Lingcod size limits are 30-35 inches, or 55 inches or greater. Nonresidents must record all lingcod harvested on the back of their sport fish license or on a harvest record.
Please consult the 2016 Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations to identify pelagic and non-pelagic rockfish and for daily bag and possession limits for lingcod and rockfish.
Sport Fishing in the Freshwaters of the Juneau Area
Dolly Varden char, Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout fishing
A few sea-run Dolly Varden char and anadromous cutthroat trout are being caught in the marine boat fisheries in nearshore waters, especially in areas where salmon are beginning to return to their natal streams. A few Dollies are being caught in area freshwaters, in the Mendenhall River estuary and in Auke Bay. Fly fishermen have been successfuly targeting lake outlets, streams and rivers connecting to salt waters. Shoreline fishing can be very productive as Dollies and trout cruise the shoreline looking for food. Spoons and spinners work well, as do smolt and fry imitations.
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.