Area Sport Fishing Reports
Archived Sport Fishing Report
July 26, 2023
King salmon fishing has slowly tapered off over the last few weeks as king salmon return to their spawning sites. Fishing for kings is still decent at shoreside and freshwater locations such as DIPAC, Fish Creek, Fish Creek Pond, and Montana Creek. Shoreside anglers casting large spinners and spoons, or small herring in saltwater areas and Fish Creek Pond have had the most success. Remember the freshwater 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. All of the inside salt waters near Juneau are open (EXCEPT upper Lynn Canal and Chilkat Inlet). The DIPAC Macaulay Salmon Hatchery has reported excellent news as they now have the king salmon needed for future broodstock, as a big school of kings moved up the fish ladder in recent weeks.
Marine boat anglers trolling for kings have reported catching a lot of shakers over the last few weeks and not too many keepers. Marine boat anglers looking to go king salmon fishing in the Juneau area should troll using flashers, plugs, spoons, or herring rigs in the nearshore waters (between 25-100 ft deep) at Lena Cove and on the backside of Douglas Island (Outer Point to Point Hilda, Horse and Colt Islands). Here are some recommendations on king salmon tackle and gear set-ups for freshwater, shoreside, and marine boat anglers.
Listed below are the 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! 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.
Juneau Hatchery Area King Salmon Regulations
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;
- 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 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.
Coho, Pink, and Chum Salmon
Fishing for silvers, pinks, and chums has really popped off over the last two weeks. The east side of Lincoln Island and the north end of Shelter Island (Lincoln Anchorage, North Pass, Hand Trollers Cove, and north of Halibut Cove) have been great spots for harvesting all three species. Point Retreat south to Cordwood Creek on the west side of Admiralty Island has also been a good hotspot for marine boat anglers looking to catch coho and pinks. Further away from Juneau, anglers fishing at the Kittens, Funter Bay, Lizardhead, and Hawk Inlet have returned to port with plenty of coho in their coolers. The nearshore waters from Pt. Louisa to Eagle Beach at locations such as Lena Cove, Tee Harbor, and the Breadline have been favorable too for coho and chums. Here are some gear and tackle setup recommendations for marine boat anglers looking to go coho, pink, and chum salmon fishing. The limits for coho, pink, and chum salmon are 6 of each species per day, 12 of each species in possession, 16” or greater.
Bottomfishing has continued to be strong, particularly for halibut and dusky rockfish. Other than that, a few sablefish and non-pelagic rockfish (silvergrays, quillbacks, and shortrakers) have been observed at the docks as well.
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, Sentinel, Poundstone, Vanderbilt, and the smaller islands (Gull, Hump and Aaron). Further away from Juneau, halibut have been harvested near Couverden, the Sisters, and Spasski. Please review the 2023 halibut regulations for unguided and charter (guided) anglers issued by NOAA.
Marine boat anglers have also reported harvests of sablefish (black cod) along the deep and silty ocean bottom (500+ ft) of Lynn Canal west of the Mansfield Peninsula near Pt. Retreat and False Pt. Retreat.
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. A handful of shortrakers were caught in Lynn Canal west of Pt. Retreat at depths between 1,000-1,500ft this past week as well. The limits for dusky and other pelagic rockfish are 5 per day, 10 in possession, no size limit. For silvergrays, shortrakers, 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 Shelter and Lincoln Islands. 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.
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, put the 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 some helpful information 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. 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.
Personal use king crab fishing reopened July 1, as did sport and personal use Tanner crab. 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. 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) 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) online. 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 to PU red and blue king crab fishing. Stay tuned for the Juneau area PU announcement later this year using the link above. Outside 11-A, there are several areas near Juneau 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.