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Area Sport Fishing Reports

November 09, 2017

Late fall fishing opportunities

Coho (aka “silver”) salmon continue to enter the Chilkoot and Chilkat Rivers in small numbers. Spawning ground surveys showed a coho run that was below average but within the escapement goal.

The water in glacier-sourced streams, such as the Chilkoot River, Chilkat River, and Taiya River, is relatively clear and approaching wintertime low levels. Low and clear water is usually best for fishing. The National Weather Service tracks the Chilkat River water level near Klukwan and provides a forecast for the next 3 days.

Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout are feeding in the mainstem rivers and tributaries wherever salmon are spawing. They are also running up tributary streams to spawn and they are entering lakes to spend the winter.

Bait is allowed when fishing in most waters in the Haines/Skagway area, except bait is not allowed when fishing in Chilkat Lake, Mosquito Lake, or their inlet and outlet streams, to reduce trout catch and release mortality.

Pot fishing for Dungeness crab and shrimp is open year round in the Haines and Skagway area salt water.

Chilkat River king salmon abundance is very low, so retention of king salmon is not allowed in Subdistrict 15-A (Haines and Skagway area) now through December 31, 2017. Most 2017 wild king salmon runs in Southeast Alaska were very weak. The 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. We expect king salmon fishing to be restricted in 2018 as much as in 2017.

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.

For Alaska residents only, the southeast Alaska red and blue king crab personal use fishery is open July 1 through March 31. In the Haines/Skagway area, the bag and possession limit is six legal size male crab.

For more information about sport fishing in Haines and Skagway, call Area Biologist Richard Chapell at 907-766-3638.

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