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Area Sport Fishing Reports
October 14, 2015
King salmon catch rates decline significantly in winter months. Peak king salmon harvest rates occur in June, but catch rates have continued to be good through July, August and into September. Outside areas around Vitskari Rocks, Cape Edgecumbe, and Biorka Island may still produce fish.
Revised king salmon regulations for 2015 marine waters were updated on July 1st and are as follows:
- Alaskan Resident
- The resident bag and possession limit is two king salmon 28 inches or greater in length.
- There is no annual limit for Alaska resident anglers.
- The nonresident bag and possession limit is one king salmon 28 inches or greater in length
- The nonresident annual limit is three king salmon 28 inches or greater in length. King salmon harvested by a nonresident from January 1 through June 30, 2015 will apply to the three fish annual limit.
Coho are entering freshwater systems and coho may still be caught in saltwater, especially near river mouths. There have been reports of recent good catches of coho in both fresh and saltwaters.
Sockeye salmon fishing in the Sitka area is over, with local counts tracking well below historical averages.
Pink salmon fishing in the Sitka area is near conclusion. A few fish may still be encountered in streams.
The spring steelhead season has concluded. See the Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulatory summary for addition information on fishing for steelhead in freshwater.
Dolly Varden and Trout
- There are several great locations for trout and Dolly Varden fishing in the Sitka Area. Dolly Varden and trout can be targeted year round but become are most active in the spring months and fall months during when feeding opportunities are best.
- When fishing for trout be sure to check the 2015 Southeast Alaska Sport Fish Regulation Summary to understand regulations for the waterbody you intend to fish. Regulations regarding size limits, bag limits and the use of bait can vary by waterbody.
- Season: February 1- December 31
- Charter vessel anglers may catch and retain one halibut per day, which must be less than or equal to 42 inches or greater than or equal to 80 inches in total length. Unguided anglers may retain two halibut of any size.
- Charter operators and crew members may not retain halibut while clients are on board the vessel.
- The Sitka sound special use area is closed to the retention of halibut by chartered anglers between June 1 and August 31.
Size limits vary between Yakutat, Northern Southeast and Southern Southeast areas. For a description of these boundaries, please follow the link to emergency orders located at the bottom of this page.
- Northern Southeast area (including the Sitka area):
- Season: May 16 –November 30
- Resident – one daily two in possession, no size limit.
- Nonresident – one daily, one in possession, size limit: 30 inches or greater in length and less than 35 inches in length, or 55 inches or greater in length. Annual limit of 2 fish, one of which is 30 to 35 inches in length, one of which is 55 inches or greater in length, nonresident anglers shall immediately record, in ink, all lingcod harvested either on the back of their sport fishing license or on a nontransferable harvest record.
- Charter operators and crew members may not retain lingcod while clients are on board the vessel.
- Season: year round
- All non-pelagic rockfish caught must be retained until the daily bag limit is reached.
- Daily bag and possession limits vary between southeast outside waters and southeast inside waters. For a description of these boundaries, please follow the link to emergency orders located at the bottom of this page. Persons sport fishing from a charter vessel when releasing non-pelagic rockfish, (e.g. after an angler reaches their bag limit), must be in possession of, and utilize a deep water release mechanism to return the fish to the depth it was hooked or to a depth of at least 100 feet. Charter operators and crew members may not retain non-pelagic rockfish while clients are on board the vessel.
- Southeast Outside Waters:
- Resident – two non-pelagic rockfish daily, only one of which may be a yelloweye; possession limit of four fish, two of which may be yelloweye.
- Nonresident – daily bag limit is two non-pelagic rockfish only one of which may be a yelloweye; possession limit of four fish, one of which may be yelloweye; with an annual limit of one yelloweye rockfish. Nonresident anglers must immediately record all yelloweye rockfish harvested, in ink, either on the back of their sport fishing license, or on a nontransferable harvest record.
- Southeast Inside Waters:
- Resident – daily bag limit is three non-pelagic rockfish only one of which may be a yelloweye, possession limit of six fish, two of which may be yelloweye.Nonresident – daily bag limit is two non-pelagic rockfish only one of which may be a yelloweye, possession limit of four fish, two of which may be yelloweye, with an annual limit of two yelloweye rockfish.
- Nonresident anglers must immediately record all yelloweye rockfish harvested, in ink, either on the back of their sport fishing license, or on a nontransferable harvest record.
All anglers are responsible for knowing the current regulations for the area that they will be fishing. Regulation summaries and copies of the most recent regulatory changes are available at the Sitka ADF&G office and online.
For further information, please feel free to contact the Sitka area management biologist: Troy Tydingco (907) 747-5379.