Area Sport Fishing Reports
Archived Sport Fishing Report
June 29, 2023
Fishing is approaching its typical peak timing, with anglers reporting a fair amount of undersized fish. The traditional hot spots are good places to start if the weather allows – Vitskari Rocks, Cape Edgcumbe, and Biorka Island.
As we enter July, king limits for nonresidents will step down to an annual limit of two, with any fish harvested earlier in the year counting towards that limit. It will again step down for nonresidents on July 16 to an annual limit of one king salmon, again with any king salmon harvested earlier in the year counting toward that limit. All king salmon must be 28 inches or greater in length, except for in Silver Bay where the size requirement has been eliminated until the end of July.
Coho are beginning to show up in the marine fishery and will only increase as the season goes on. These fish won’t hit freshwaters until the end of summer/early fall.
Sockeye are beginning to return, with 9,752 fish having passed the weir at Redoubt as of 6/29. Redoubt is closed to snagging for nonresidents June 1- August 31. Snagging (rod and reel) is only a legal subsistence gear type at Redoubt; at other locations when using a rod and reel sport fishery limits apply. Residents, don’t forget to get your subsistence salmon permits which are available online.
Halibut fishing has been good will only get better as the season continues. Try anchoring up and getting as much scent in the water as you can.
Lingcod season is open as of May 16 and will run through November. Try fishing around structure and using a leadheaded jig to thump the bottom.
Demersal Shelf Rockfish (DSR)
In 2022, Demersal Shelf Rockfish (DSR) opened to provide opportunity for residents. Resident anglers are allowed one DSR rockfish daily, one in possession, EXCLUDING YELLOWEYE. DSR are a subset of nonpelagic rockfish including: Yelloweye, Quillback, China, Tiger, Rosethorn, Copper, and Canary.
All anglers are allowed one slope rockfish daily, one in possession. The most common slope rockfish include: Redbanded, Rougheye, Silvergray, Shortraker, and Vermilion.
Pelagic rockfish is open year-round. Anglers are allowed 4 daily, 8 in possession, with the exception of CSEO (Sitka Area), where nonresidents are allowed 2 daily, 4 in possession. See the Sitka Area Special Exceptions for a map of CSEO on page 23 of the Southeast regulation summary.
The department has developed a guide to assist anglers in identifying species groupings.
Fishing for rockfish is good all year. Try fishing around underwater structure of off kelp beds with a dart or jig. These rockfish make for excellent table fare in the winter when salmon are harder to come by.
Be sure to check your local fishing regulations to be aware of harvest limits and size requirements and necessary permits for shellfish. Also be aware that certain types of shellfish in Southeast Alaska have been known to cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) which can be fatal.
For Dungeness crab, try placing pots in bays and around the mouths of river where crabs congregate to feed. If fishing with friends, be sure to keep each angler’s catch separate to avoid pooling bag limits.
Dolly Varden and Rainbow/Cutthroat trout
Dolly Varden and Rainbow/Cutthroat trout can be targeted year-round in freshwaters. Try fishing around structures in the stream but be careful not to lose your lure. These fish make for a fun fight and don’t require a boat to get good access.
There are several lakes on the Sitka Road System that contain rainbow, cutthroat and brook trout, as well as grayling and Dolly Varden.
Check out the new gofishak interactive map to discover popular fishing locations and information on species run timing, fishing gear selections, and boat and angler access tips!
For further information, please feel free to contact the Sitka area sportfish management staff at (907) 747-5355.