Daniel Teske, Area Management Biologist
(907) 465-8152, firstname.lastname@example.org
Area Sport Fishing Reports
September 7, 2023
King salmon fishing is pretty much over in both fresh and salt waters. Marine boat anglers have been catching lots of shakers but very few kings of legal size. The best locations to find large feeder kings have been the nearshore waters (between 50-100 ft deep) of Stephens Passage on the backside of Douglas Island at locations such as: Young’s Bay, Point Young, Outer Point, Middle Point, Inner Point, Point Hilda, Colt Island, Horse Island, and Horse Shoal have been the other decent locations for harvesting kings. Marine boat anglers looking to go king salmon fishing should troll using flashers, plugs, spoons, or herring rigs. Here are some recommendations on king salmon tackle and gear set-ups for marine boat, shoreside, and freshwater anglers.
Please note the Juneau Hatchery Area king salmon regulations EXPIRED on August 31. Saltwater anglers must adhere to the 2023 Southeast regionwide king salmon regulations (see below) throughout the Juneau area. For saltwater anglers, all of the inside salt waters near Juneau are open (EXCEPT upper Lynn Canal and Chilkat Inlet). For freshwater anglers, the regulations for king salmon in drainages crossed by the Juneau road system are 4 per day, 4 in possession, no size limit, and the annual limit does not apply.
Remember to purchase your 2023 sport fishing license and king salmon stamp either at the ADF&G online store, the nearest ADF&G office, or from local vendors before you go fishing! Lastly, please help our marine and shoreside creel personnel collect their angler survey information and biological data so ADF&G can continue to sustainably manage sportfish species.
Southeast Regionwide King Salmon Sport Fishing Regulations
- The resident bag and possession limit is two king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length;
- The nonresident bag and possession limit is one king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length;
- Now through December 31, the nonresident annual harvest limit is one king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length; any king salmon harvested earlier in the year will apply towards the one fish annual harvest limit;
- Immediately upon landing and retaining a king salmon, a nonresident must enter the species, date, and location on the back of their sport fishing license or on a nontransferable harvest record;
The Southeast regionwide bag and possession limits above will apply in all areas except as modified below for the inside waters in the vicinity of Juneau near Haines and Skagway:
In the waters adjacent to the Chilkat River
(Chilkat Inlet north of the ADF&G regulatory marker north of Seduction Point, see map below)
- April 1 through July 15, 2023: Closed to king salmon fishing. All anglers may not target or retain king salmon.
- July 16 through December 31, 2023: No retention of king salmon. All king salmon caught must be released immediately.
In the waters adjacent to Lynn Canal
(Section 15-A, Lynn Canal north of Sherman Rock, see map below)
- April 1 through December 31, 2023: No retention of king salmon. All king salmon caught must be released immediately.
These inside water closures are in place to protect wild king salmon stocks returning to their spawning grounds on the Chilkat River where wild stock returns have been poor recently.
Over the last few weeks, catch and harvest rates for silvers have been below par. The nearshore waters from Point Retreat south to Cordwood Creek on the west side of Admiralty Island has been the best location for harvesting silvers. Besides Retreat, the north and east side of Lincoln Island (Lincoln Anchorage and North Pass); the north end of Shelter Island (Hand Trollers Cove, and north of Halibut Cove); the northwest side of Aaron Island; and the west side of Gull Island have been other good spots for harvesting cohos. Closer to Juneau, Lena Cove north to the Breadline and the Outer Pt – False Outer Pt (Picnic Cove) area have been the most fruitful locations for coho anglers. Sheep Creek and Gastineau Channel south of the Juneau-Douglas Bridge is another popular location to go fishing for coho. Here are some gear and tackle recommendations for marine boat, shoreside, and freshwater anglers looking to go coho fishing. The saltwater limits for coho salmon are 6 per day, 12 in possession, 16” or greater in length. The freshwater limits for coho in drainages crossed by the Juneau road system are 2 per day, 2 in possession, 16” or greater in length.
Due to poor coho returns, two emergency orders are currently in effect; one for North Gastineau Channel and one for Peterson Creek and Lagoon. North Gastineau Channel from the Juneau-Douglas Bridge north to the Salmon Creek Bridge is CLOSED to coho salmon fishing AND snagging for all species. Peterson Creek and Lagoon are CLOSED to coho salmon fishing from the creek mouth to the falls 1.5 miles upstream. These emergency orders are listed below.
North Gastineau Channel Closed to Coho Salmon Fishing
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is announcing that beginning at 12:01 a.m. Friday, September 1, fishing for coho salmon and snagging will be PROHIBITED in the marine waters of Gastineau Channel, north of Juneau-Douglas Bridge and south of a line between Salmon Creek Bridge and the regulatory marker across on Douglas Island (see map below). Snagging or attempting to snag is prohibited in this area for all species. Coho salmon may not be targeted, retained, or possessed. This closure will be in effect from 12:01 a.m. Friday, September 1 through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, September 30, 2023.
In 2020, the water intake pipe to the hatchery broke and caused some mortality of juvenile coho salmon released that year and makes the projected run for 2023 very low. Early return metrics confirm this with extremely low numbers of coho salmon that have returned to the hatchery to date, and a low number of tagged Macaulay Hatchery coho salmon recovered in both the sport and commercial fisheries. This closure is necessary to provide sufficient coho salmon to achieve hatchery broodstock needs.
Peterson Creek and Lagoon Closed to Coho Salmon Fishing
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is announcing that beginning at 12:01 a.m. Friday, September 1, fishing for coho salmon will be closed in Peterson Creek, north of Juneau (see map below). Specific restrictions are as follows:
- The waters of Peterson Creek, including Peterson Lagoon, from intertidal waters within a 200-yard radius of the creek mouth at salt water to the falls approximately 1.5 miles upstream are CLOSED to coho salmon fishing. Coho salmon may not be targeted, retained, or possessed. This closure will be in effect from September 1 through December 31, 2023.
Based on survey expansions, coho salmon returning to Peterson Creek have failed to meet the sustainable escapement goal range in 5 of the last 6 years when data were available (2016–2018 and 2020–2022, no data available for 2019). Conservative action is warranted to protect the sustainability of coho salmon in Peterson Creek during this period of very low escapements. ADF&G will continue to conduct coho salmon surveys on Peterson Creek and this action may be reconsidered if coho salmon return in abundance.
Bottomfish catch rates have slowed down over the last few weeks as halibut have begun to migrate to deeper waters. Rockfish catch rates have also declined but several rockfish (duskies, silvergrays, and quillbacks) have been observed by creel samplers recently.
Halibut have been harvested in the waters of Lynn Canal and Favorite Channel near Lynn Sisters, Shelter, Lincoln, and Benjamin at locations such as North Pass, Sentinel, Poundstone, Vanderbilt, and the smaller islands (Gull, Hump and Aaron). Please review the 2023 halibut regulations for unguided and charter (guided) anglers issued by NOAA.
Rockfish anglers have had the best luck targeting duskies and silvergrays in the deeper (325-1,000 ft) rocky waters of Lynn Canal, Favorite Channel, and Saginaw Channel near Shelter, Lincoln, and Benjamin Islands. The limits for dusky and other pelagic rockfish are 5 per day, 10 in possession, no size limit. For silvergrays and other slope rockfish, the limits are 1 per day, 2 in possession, no size limit.
Residents have reported some harvest of demersal shelf rockfish, including quillback rockfish at depths greater than 200 ft in Favorite Channel near the Breadline and Lynn Canal near Funter Bay and the Kittens. The limits for quillbacks and other demersal shelf rockfish are 1 per day, 2 in possession, no size limit. All anglers CANNOT keep yelloweye rockfish; nonresidents CANNOT keep demersal shelf rockfish. All vessels must have at least one functioning deepwater release mechanism on board. ALL ROCKFISH NOT RETAINED MUST BE RELEASED TO THE DEPTH THEY WERE CAUGHT or 100 feet, whichever is shallower. Here are some helpful videos demonstrating the use of different rockfish release devices.
Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout
Freshwater and shoreside fishing is still good for trout and Dolly Varden in local streams and creek mouths along the road system. Anadromous Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout are congregating at the mouths of local creeks such as Sheep Creek, Montana Creek, Fish Creek, and Cowee Creek to feed on emigrating salmon fry and smolts. Using small smolt imitation fly patterns or small spinners and spoons is the best way to catch these fish.
There will also be some fish that do not leave their "overwintering" 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. Windfall Lake and the Dredge Lakes area are the best locations to find resident Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout. Here are common gear and tackle setups for trout and Dolly Varden.
In all drainages crossed by the Juneau road system, as well as the saltwater adjacent to the Juneau road system to a line ¼ mile offshore, 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, 2 in possession, no size limit. Anglers should check the 2023 Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulation Summary for special regulations specific to the stream or lake they intend to fish.
Please read pages 33-36 of the 2023 Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary for regulations specific to shellfish.
Personal use king crab fishing is open to Alaska residents only. For anglers looking to catch king crab outside 11-A, a sport fishing license and a 2023/24 Southeast Alaska Regional Personal Use King Crab Permit are required. These are available at the ADF&G online store. Harvest and effort (even if you did not fish or did not catch any king crab) must be reported online.
Please read the Personal Use (PU) Advisory Announcements for red king crab (RKC) and blue king crab (BKC), and golden king crab (GKC). Anglers may use no more than 4 pots or 10 ring nets per vessel. Anglers can only keep male king crab, 7” minimum width. For RKC and BKC, the daily bag and possession limit is ONE RKC OR BKC per person. For GKC, the daily bag and possession limit per person is THREE GKC; OR TWO GKC if the angler also possesses ONE RKC OR BKC.
Section 11-A is currently closed for RKC and BKC. Outside 11-A, there are several areas that are CLOSED to RKC and BKC PU fishing: Lynn Sisters (including St. James Bay), Excursion Inlet, Seymour Canal, Gambier Bay, Pybus Bay and Peril Strait (see map below).
Dungeness and Tanner Crab
For Alaskan residents, licensed anglers can keep 20 Dungeness males, 6.5" minimum width. While taking Dungeness crab, 5 pots or 10 ring nets per person may be used, with a max of 10 pots or 20 ring nets per vessel. While taking Tanner crab, Alaskan residents can keep 30 Tanner males, 5.5” minimum width. While taking Tanner crab, 4 pots or 10 ring nets per vessel may be used.
For nonresidents, licensed anglers can keep 3 male Dungeness and Tanner crab (in combination); 6.5” minimum width for Dungeness, 5.5” minimum width for Tanner. While taking Dungeness crab, 4 pots or 10 ring nets per person may be used, with a max of 10 pots or 20 rings per vessel. While taking Tanner crab, 4 pots or 10 ring nets per vessel may be used.
Sport and personal use pot shrimp fisheries in the Juneau area will remain CLOSED until further notice. The closed area consists of all marine waters of Section 11-A north and west of a line extending from a regulatory marker near point Bishop to the Coast Guard marker and light on Point Arden, extending to a line at the latitude of Little Island light, and east of a line from Little Island light to Point Retreat light. Check the Sport and Personal Use News Release.
Outside of the 11-A area, sport and personal use shrimp fishing remain open, except Tenakee Inlet, which is CLOSED. All marine waters in Tenakee Inlet west of the longitude of Corner Point at 135° 06.50' W long. are closed to personal use and sport shrimp pot fishing. The Tenakee Inlet shrimp closure Advisory Announcement has more information. Sport and personal use shrimpers who have a valid sport fishing license must also have a free shrimp permit available on the ADF&G online store. Participating anglers must sign their permit in ink to make it valid and have the permit in possession while taking shrimp in Southeast Alaska. Shrimp limits and gear requirements for sport and personal use shrimp fishing can be found on pages 33-36 of the 2023 Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary. Reporting of effort and harvest is required and must be submitted to the department even if you did not fish.
ADF&G does not recommend harvesting clams from any waters in the Juneau area due to the possibility that the clams may contain Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins. Currently, no beaches in the Juneau area are monitored on a regular basis (i.e- "certified") for PSP toxins. If you harvest, you do so at your own risk of PSP poisoning. Sporadic sampling has been conducted by the Southeast Alaska Tribal Ocean Research (SEATOR) project, but clams of any species and at any time during the year may still contain toxic levels of PSP. Please navigate to the following Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) web page for more information about PSP.
Interactive Fishing Location Maps
Check out the wefishak page on the ADF&G website for the new Juneau-Glacier Bay Interactive Map to discover popular fishing locations and information on species run timing, fishing gear selections, and boat and angler access tips thru the Sport Fish gofishak application.