Area Sport Fishing Reports
Archived Sport Fishing Report
June 22, 2023
Harvesting of king salmon in the designated Hatchery Sport Harvest Area opened June 1, and the rest of the inside waters near Juneau opened June 15 (EXCEPT Taku Inlet, Seymour Canal, and upper Lynn Canal). Unfortunately, harvest rates have been subpar so far. Hence, BEGINNING JULY 1, sport fishing for king salmon and snagging will be prohibited near the fish ladder at DIPAC Macaulay Salmon Hatchery.
Despite this closure, that does not mean anglers should not continue to try their luck catching a king! Juneau shoreside anglers can cast large spinners and spoons or small herring at locations such as Lena Cove, False Outer Point, Fritz Cove, and Fish Creek for king salmon. Marine boat anglers looking to go king salmon fishing in the Juneau area should troll using flashers, plugs, spoons, or herring rigs in Auke Bay, Fritz Cove, and Lena Cove.
Marine boat anglers have had the best luck harvesting king salmon in the nearshore waters (between 25-100 ft deep) near Fritz Cove, the North Douglas Boat Launch, Smugglers Cove, the cut near Spuhn Island, and just south of Statter Harbor in Auke Bay. Outside of the hatchery area, kings have been harvested around Marmion Island and Pt. Salisbury at the entrance of Gastineau Channel. Here are some recommendations on king salmon tackle and gear set-ups for both shoreside and marine boat anglers.
Listed below are the 2023 Macaulay Hatchery Advisory Announcement, 2023 Juneau hatchery area king salmon Advisory Announcement and 2023 regionwide king salmon Advisory Announcement. 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!
Macaulay Hatchery Area Closed to King Salmon Fishing – JULY 1
Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 1, sport fishing for king salmon and snagging will be prohibited within a 300-yard radius of the Wayside Park Fishing Dock (Channel Wayside fishing dock – see map below). King salmon may not be snagged, targeted, retained, or possessed. King salmon caught while fishing for other species must be released immediately unharmed. This closure will be in effect from 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 1 through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, August 31, 2023.
King salmon returning to the Douglas Island Pink and Chum Inc. Macaulay Salmon Hatchery congregate along the shoreline and are vulnerable to harvest in this area. This closure is necessary to ensure that enough king salmon make it up the fish ladder to meet egg-take goals needed for future production. If enough king salmon are passed into the hatchery raceways, then this closure will be rescinded.
Juneau Hatchery Area King Salmon Regulations – OUTSIDE THE CLOSURE AREA
The sport fishing regulations for hatchery-produced king salmon in a designated saltwater hatchery sport harvest area near Juneau consisting of the contiguous waters of Stephens Passage, Auke Bay, Fritz Cove and Gastineau Channel, enclosed on the west by a line running from the tip of Point Louisa to the navigational aid at the northern tip of Portland Island (58° 21.13' N., 134° 45.52' W) then along the eastern shore of Portland Island to its most southern point and ending on Douglas Island at the northern tip of Outer Point, and enclosed on the east by the Juneau-Douglas Bridge and all salt waters of Lena Cove south of a line from Pt. Lena to a regulatory marker on the mainland shore located at 58° 24.20' N. lat.,134°45.64' W. long. (see attached map). These regulations are intended to provide opportunity to harvest surplus Alaska hatchery-produced king salmon returning to the Juneau area.
Within the designated saltwater hatchery sport harvest area, the following regulations will be in effect from 12:01 a.m. Thursday, June 1 through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, August 31, 2023:
- The daily bag and possession limit is four king salmon of any size;
- King salmon harvested by nonresidents in the designated saltwater hatchery sport harvest area do not count toward their annual limit.
Anglers should note that the bag, possession, and size limits for king salmon in the salt waters outside of the designated saltwater hatchery sport harvest area are more restrictive and that regulations prohibit anglers from possessing fish that exceed the limits for the waters where they are fishing. Therefore, anglers who catch king salmon within the designated saltwater hatchery sport harvest area may not continue to fish outside of that area if they possess king salmon that do not comply with the regional king salmon bag, possession, and size limits.
Southeast Regionwide King Salmon Sport Fishing Regulations
- The resident bag and possession limit is two king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length;
- From October 1, 2023, through March 31, 2024, a resident sport fish angler may use two rods when fishing for king salmon; a person using two rods under this regulation may only retain salmon.
- The nonresident bag and possession limit is one king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length;
- From January 1 through June 30, the nonresident annual harvest limit is three king salmon 28 inches or greater in length;
- From July 1 through July 15, the nonresident annual harvest limit is two king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length; any king salmon harvested from January 1 through June 30 will apply towards the two fish annual harvest limit;
- From July 16 through December 31, the nonresident annual harvest limit is one king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length; any king salmon harvested from January 1 through July 15 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:
In the waters adjacent to the Taku River
(Taku Inlet north of a line from Point Bishop to Point Greely, see map below)
- April 1 through June 30, 2023: No retention of king salmon. All king salmon caught must be released immediately.
In the waters adjacent to the King Salmon River
(Section 11-D, Seymour Canal north of 57° 37' N. latitude, see map below)
- April 1 through June 30, 2023: Closed to king salmon fishing. All anglers may not target or retain king salmon.
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 Taku River, King Salmon River, and Chilkat River where wild stock returns have been poor recently.
Although the season is still early, the chum salmon run appears to be fairly strong so far near Juneau. Anglers have reported chum salmon harvests in the nearshore waters from Pt. Louisa to Eagle Beach at locations such as Lena Cove, Tee Harbor, and the Breadline. The limits for chum salmon are 6 per day, 12 in possession.
Bottomfishing has continued to be strong, particularly for halibut and dusky rockfish. Other than that, a few lingcod and non-pelagic rockfish (silvergrays and quillbacks) have been observed by ADF&G creel samplers. 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.
Halibut have been harvested in the shallower waters (less than 250 ft) of Lynn Canal near Shelter, Lincoln, and Benjamin Islands at locations such as North Pass, Poundstone, Vanderbilt, and the smaller islands (Gull, Hump and Aaron). Further away from Juneau, halibut have been harvested in Icy Strait, particularly in the shallower waters near Sisters Reef, Couverden Island, and Couverden Rock. 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 (300-900 ft) rocky waters of Icy Strait (Homeshore to Couverden); Saginaw Channel, Favorite Channel, and Lynn Canal between False Pt. Retreat, Shelter Island, and Lincoln. 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 St. James Bay, Favorite Channel (near Lena, Tee Harbor, and the Breadline), Stephens Passage and Auke Bay (east and west of Portland Island). 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 is a helpful video demonstrating the use of different rockfish release devices.
Lingcod have been harvested in the rocky reefs of Lynn Canal (at depths between 30-330 ft) near Poundstone Rock and Vanderbilt Reef. The resident limits for lingcod are 1 per day, 2 in possession, no size limit, no annual limit. The nonresident limits for lingcod are 1 per day, 1 in possession, 2 fish annual limit (one lingcod between 30-35 inches, one lingcod greater than 55 inches).
Other Fishing Opportunities
Fish Creek and Fish Creek Pond
Anglers are reminded that the daily bag and possession limit for king salmon in all freshwaters crossed by the Juneau road system, including Fish Creek and Fish Creek Pond are 4 fish; any size and any king salmon harvested by non-residents do not count toward their annual limit. Please note that within Fish Creek Pond, from June 1 - August 31, anglers may use bait, may snag, and may use weighted hooks, lures, and treble hooks with a gap greater than ½ inch between the point and shank. However, in Fish Creek itself, anglers may NOT use bait, or snag, or use the aforementioned large treble hooks. The marine waters at the mouth of Fish Creek fall under the designated Hatchery Sport Harvest Area regulations, and snagging is allowed in salt water.
Anglers are reminded to not discard fish waste along the bank, in shallow water, or in dumpsters. Fish waste attracts bears and creates unwanted human-bear conflicts. Please clean fish at home. If you clean fish at home, place carcasses in the freezer until the morning of garbage day. Do not leave fish waste in garbage cans for multiple days, as bears will be attracted to the smell. If you clean fish at the fishing site, throw fish carcasses into the deepest water possible or cut them into smaller pieces and toss them into deep, fast-moving currents. Here is a helpful link about bear safety for anglers.
Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout Fishing
The freshwater and shoreside fishing is still good for trout and Dolly Varden in local streams and creek mouths along the road system (EXCEPT Peterson Creek, which is currently CLOSED to all sportfishing). Anadromous Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout have moved into saltwater and 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.
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 Sportfish Regulation Summary for special regulations specific to the stream or lake they intend to fish.
Steelhead trout Fishing
Steelhead fishing is pretty much over, with most kelts returning to the ocean post-spawn. If you are still looking to catch-and-release a steelhead on the Juneau road system, Montana Creek, Fish Creek, and Cowee Creek are the best locations to find them. In Southeast Alaska, most streams that contain steelhead have small annual returns (in the hundreds) and thus can be vulnerable to over-fishing. Retention of steelhead in the Juneau area is prohibited. Any steelhead caught in a drainage crossed by the Juneau road system must be released immediately. Current regionwide regulations elsewhere, away from the road system, prohibit any steelhead under 36" from being harvested and require that a harvest record be completed in ink immediately upon landing a steelhead that is to be harvested. Keep in mind that all fish should be treated with great care regardless of size to ensure the best chances for survival upon release. Please keep fish in the water while releasing. Our website has more advice on proper catch-and-release methods.
Anglers should note that all sport fishing in Peterson Creek from the falls to the intertidal waters within a 200-yard radius of the creek mouth at saltwater is CLOSED April 1-June 30 to protect spawning steelhead. The Advisory Announcement is provided below.
Sport Fishing Closed in Peterson Creek
A portion of Peterson Creek, north of Juneau, is closed to sport fishing for all species. Specific restrictions are as follows:
- The waters of Peterson Creek, including Peterson Lagoon, from the intertidal waters within a 200-yard radius of the creek mouth at saltwater to the falls approximately 1.5 miles upstream are CLOSED to sport fishing from April 1 - June 30, 2023, to protect spawning steelhead.
Based on snorkel survey expansions, in years when concurrent weir counts were available, overall production of steelhead in Peterson Creek has declined in recent years. For the last eight years (2015–2022), snorkel survey index counts conducted each spring have been below the 1997–2014 average of 28 (equivalent to about 116 fish) when steelhead abundance in the creek appeared to be relatively stable. In 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 the snorkel survey counts were 6, 3, 11, 24, and 18 fish, respectively. A conservative approach is necessary to manage the Peterson Creek steelhead stock during this period of very low escapements.
Except king and tanner crab, other shellfish are currently available to harvest. FISHING FOR KING CRAB AND TANNER CRAB IS CURRENTLY CLOSED. These closures are in place to protect molting and mating crab. These fisheries will reopen July 1.
For Alaskan residents in the Juneau area, licensed anglers can keep 20 Dungeness males, 6.5" minimum width. While taking Dungeness crab, 5 pots or 10 rings per person may be used, with a max of 10 pots or 20 rings per vessel.
For nonresidents in the Juneau area, licensed anglers can keep 3 male Dungeness crab, 6.5” minimum width. While taking Dungeness crab, 4 pots or 10 rings per person may be used, with a max of 10 pots or 20 rings per vessel.
Sport and personal use 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 cab 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
NEW! 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.