Area Sport Fishing Reports
April 06, 2018
Spring 2018 fishing opportunities
Char and Trout
Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout are starting to feed more aggressively in the mainstem Chilkat River as chum and pink salmon fry emerge from spawning gravels and overwintering fish leave the deep lakes.
The ice on Chilkat Lake and Mosquito Lakes is still thick enough for ice fishing. Regulations specific to these 2 lakes are:
- Bait is not allowed.
- 2 fish bag and possession limits for cutthroat and rainbow trout.
- 14-inch minimum and 22 inch maximum length to keep a cutthroat or rainbow trout.
Steelhead are rare in the Haines and Skagway Area. If you happen to catch one, remember that steelhead must be at least 36 inches in length to be harvested. There is a 1 fish daily bag limit and 2 fish annual harvest limit per angler. Steelhead anglers must record their harvest immediately on the back of their license.
Pot fishing for Dungeness crab and shrimp is open year round in the Haines and Skagway area salt water.
Residents of Yukon Territory in Canada may purchase an annual Alaska sport fishing license for the same price that Alaska residents pay. However, Yukoners are not Alaska residents, so Yukoners must comply with the non-resident regulations such as number of shellfish pots, shellfish bag limits, and king salmon bag and annual limits. The Yukoner license is available from license vendors in Whitehorse, Haines, and Skagway.
Alaska residents under 18 years old do not need a sport fishing license. Non-Alaska residents under 16 years old do not need a sport fishing license.
Chilkat River king salmon abundance in salt water is very low, so retention of king salmon will not allowed in the Haines and Skagway area from April 1-December 31, 2018. Chilkat Inlet is closed to king salmon sport fishing April 1-June 30.
Despite fishery closures in 2017, Chilkat River king salmon inriver abundance was 1,300 large fish, which is well below the goal range of 1,850 to 3,600 large fish. Most wild king salmon runs in Southeast Alaska were very weak in 2017. We expect Chilkat River king salmon run to be smaller than the escapement goal again in 2018.
For more information about sport fishing in Haines and Skagway, call Area Biologist Richard Chapell at 907-766-3638.