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Area Sport Fishing Reports
April 26, 2016
Spring King Salmon Fishing
Warm winter and spring water temperatures and presence of baitfish has jump-started spring king fishing in the Juneau area. Anglers trolling in saltwater have had success catching kings in several areas around Juneau including Auke Bay, backside of Douglas Island, and south of town along the Admiralty Island shoreline. Fishing shallower around the tide changes with white, red and chartreuse, and any flashers with UV reflectiveness will help with the reduced light during early spring. Try running a whole herring or hoochie behind a large 11" type flasher. Make sure to check the weather before heading out and let someone know where you are planning to go, as the weather can change quickly this time of year. Dress warmly and good fishing!
This past week fishing was a bit slow in the North Douglas area and in and around Juneau. Anglers did report seeing a few fish caught but not as good as past weeks. Things should pick up over the next few weeks as more Taku River king salmon enter Juneau waters on the way to the Taku. Also a few reports came in of fish being caught on the west side of Admiralty Island over the weekend.
A few king salmon have also been caught off the rocks at Picnic Cove this past week. More anglers are expected to begin fishing the rocky shorelines of areas such as Picnic Cove and Tee Harbor as word gets out. Slow-retrieving whole hearing behind a banana weight seems to be effective when fishing from shore, especially around morning tides. Please remember to purchase your 2016 fishing license if you haven't done so already. Good luck!
King Salmon Sport Fishing Regulations
In the waters of District 11, and District 15 south of Sherman Rock
From April 15, 2016 through June 30, 2016,
The king salmon bag and possession limit is one king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length for all anglers, and
The waters of upper Taku inlet north of a line from Cooper Point to the mouth of Dorothy Creek are closed to king salmon fishing.
Outside Juneau Area (Southeast Regional Regulations)
- The resident bag and possession limit is three king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length.
- The nonresident bag and possession limit is one king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length, except during May and June the bag and possession limit is two king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length;
- The nonresident annual limit is six king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length. Nonresident anglers shall immediately record, in ink, all king salmon harvested either on the back of their sport fishing license or on a nontransferable harvest record.
From October 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017; sport anglers may use two rods when fishing for king salmon.
Beginning Wednesday April 27th in Juneau, anglers should be on the lookout for creel samplers at the local boat harbors. These creel samplers collect important information on anglers fishing activity as well as sampling their catch including size, age, and genetic samples to help manage the fisheries. As always, the Department would like to thank the anglers for their willingness to be interviewed and sampled while returning to port.
Other Spring Fishing Opportunities
Besides spring saltwater king salmon, other spring fishing opportunities in the Juneau area include Dolly Varden, cutthroat trout, and steelhead. Since freshwater stream temperatures are higher than normal this spring, outmigration of pink fry has already begun. Anadromous Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout are beginning to move into saltwaters and will congregate at the mouths of local creeks such as Salmon Creek, Sheep Creek, and Cowee Creek to feed on these emigrating salmon smolts. Using small smolt imitation fly patterns or small spinners is the best way to catch these fish. There will also be some fish that do not leave their “over wintering” sites and head for the ocean. Known as “residents”, these fish stay in their home lake, pond, or stream the entire year. While these fish may move around in the system to take advantage of food or environmental conditions, they will be present for your fishing pleasure all year. In all drainages crossed by the Juneau roadsystem, cutthroat and rainbow trout bag limits (in combination) are 2 daily, 2 in possession with a 14 inch minimum and 22 inch maximum size limit. Dolly Varden limits are 2 daily and 2 in possession, no size limit. Anglers should check the 2016 Southeast Alaska Sportfish Regulation Summary for special regulations specific to the stream or lake they intend to fish, or the ADF&G Sportfish website.
Warmer water temperatures mean that Steelhead will also begin their return to natal streams to spawn. Peterson Creek and Cowee Creek are the two most popular spots to try to catch a steelhead on the Juneau road system. Steelhead prefer deeper water associated with cover, often becoming more active at dawn and dusk. Go mid-week, take your time and enjoy the solitude. You may be rewarded by a hook-up and explosive fight of a fresh steelie. Streamer flies made of Marabou with a touch of bright color can be effective. Attractor beads when used with a fly, lure, or bare hook must be either fixed within 2 inches of the fly, lure or hook, or be free sliding on the line or leader, by regulation. Most streams that contain steelhead in Southeast have small annual returns (in the hundreds) and thus can be vulnerable to over-fishing. All fish should be treated with great care regardless of size. Retention of steelhead from streams along the Juneau roadsystem is prohibited. Any steelhead caught in a drainage crossed by the Juneau road system must be released immediately.