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August 05, 2014
Sport Fisheries in the Sitka Area
King salmon fishing season is upon us in Sitka. King salmon catch rates have remained stable this week and are still relatively strong for this time of year in the sport fishery. King salmon regulations for 2014 marine waters are as follows:
- Alaskan Resident
- The resident bag and possession limit is three 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, except during May and June the bag and possession limit is two king salmon 28 inches or greater in length;
- The nonresident annual limit is six king salmon 28 inches or greater in length
From October 1, 2014 through March 31, 2015; sport anglers may use two rods when fishing for king salmon.
Coho Salmon are returning to the marine waters of the Sitka Area. Some areas report large numbers of returning coho. As coho salmon continue growing and moving toward nearshore areas anglers can expect marine catch rates to increase over the next few weeks and remain strong through August. While run timing can vary between individual drainages coho salmon can generally be found in freshwaters between mid-August and November. Freshwater coho salmon fishing can be an exciting fall activity.
The spring steelhead season has concluded. Generally associated with stream systems with lakes, the Sitka area has several locations with steelhead. Steelhead in the Sitka area generally enter freshwater streams to spawn during May. See the Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulatory summary for addition information on fishing for steelhead in freshwaters.
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. When fishing for trout be sure to check the "2014 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 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, or assistant Sitka area management biologist: Patrick Fowler (907) 747-5380.