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Alaska Department of Fish and Game

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Area Sport Fishing Reports

May 25, 2017

Week of May 26 to June 1

Emergency Orders and Regulation Reminders

  • Anglers are reminded to review Emergency Orders and News Releases for the Kodiak Area before heading on their next fishing trip. The following Emergency Orders are currently in effect for the following areas:

    • Effective June 1, in the Ayakulik River Drainage, king salmon sport fishing is restricted to catch and release. All king salmon caught must be released without being removed from the water. In addition, bait is not allowed for any sport fishing and only single hooks on artificial lures may be used.

    • Effective June 1, in the Karluk River Drainage; including Karluk Lagoon, sport fishing for king salmon is closed. In addition, the use of bait is prohibited for all sport fishing downstream of Karluk Lake.

    • Effective June 1, Monashka Creek and Monashka Bay are closed to sport fishing for king salmon. In addition, the use of bait is prohibited in Monashka Creek.

  • In January 2017, the Board of Fisheries adopted new regulations for sport fishing in the Kodiak Area:

    • The bag limit for rockfish in Chiniak Bay and Marmot Bay has been reduced to three per day, six in possession, only two of which may be non-pelagics (four in possession) and only one may be a yelloweye (two in possession). See the 2017 Southwest Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for a detailed map of the affected area.

    • Coho bag limits for the Kodiak Road Zone have changed. Coho bag limits in all freshwaters of the Kodiak Road Zone and saltwaters within 1 mile of the Kodiak Road Zone and Spruce Island have a limit of two coho per day, two in possession January 1 through September 15. From September 16 through December 31, the bag limit is one per day, one in possession. Bag limits for the remainder of Kodiak Island remain the same.

Fresh Waters


  • The Department of Fish and Game counting weirs on the Buskin River, Karluk River and Ayakulik River have been installed and are just beginning to count the first sockeye salmon. Counting weirs on the Afognak River and Dog Salmon River will be installed in the coming week. King salmon returns will also be counted at Karluk River and Ayakulik River weirs. Respective escapement goals for these two runs are 3,000-6,000 and 4,800-8,400 fish. The current Buskin River sockeye salmon escapement goal is 5,000-8,000 fish.

  • One sockeye has been counted at the Buskin River to date but there are fish starting to build up in the river. Relatively healthy returns are anticipated for the Kodiak Road Zone’s Buskin River sockeye salmon run, which usually peaks during mid-June, and in the last 10 years has averaged about 12,000 fish. The daily bag and possession limit for sockeye salmon within the Kodiak Road Zone is two fish.

  • Recent reports indicate a strong run of sockeye has already started at Litnik (Afognak River) though the weir will be installed next week. Fishing has reportedly been good so far.

  • In anticipation of relatively poor returns in 2017, sport fishing for king salmon in the Karluk River Drainage (including Karluk Lagoon) is closed. In addition, the use of bait for all sport fishing is prohibited downstream of Karluk Lake and single hooks must be used.

  • Poor returns are also expected this year for the Ayakulik River king salmon run. Consequently, king salmon sport fishing is restricted to catch and release only. Bait is not allowed for any sport fishing and only single hooks on artificial lures may be used.

  • In recent years, returns of stocked king salmon have been poor to Monashka Creek, though runs have been excellent at the American River and Olds River. Poor returns are expected again this year. Monashka Creek and Bay are subsequently closed to king salmon fishing to aid in collection of brood stock for enhancement of road system king salmon runs. In addition, in Monashka Creek, bait may not be used and only single hooks are allowed.

  • Anglers can find daily updated fish counts by visiting the ADF&G Fish Count Data webpage.

Trout, Dolly Varden

  • Dolly Varden have mostly left their over-winter fresh waters. Recent fishing success has been reported in the near-shore waters of local beaches. Popular places for fishing Dollies are Mission Beach, the mouths of Pillar Creek, Monashka Creek, Kalsin Beach, and at the mouth of Buskin River. From now through the end of June, Dolly Varden should be available in salt waters near most rivers along the Kodiak road system.

Lake Fishing

  • May is an excellent time to fish rainbow trout in the stocked lakes along the Kodiak road zone, as during and shortly after ice-out the fish travel shoal areas in search of food. Visit lower elevation lakes for rainbow fishing, as fish will be more active in warmer waters. Although ADF&G currently stocks only sterile juvenile trout, some lakes with a stocking history dating to the 1950s may also contain spawning populations of adult fish. Be sure to check the local sport fishing regulations for a current list of stocked lakes as harvest of rainbow trout is only allowed in lakes that are currently stocked. Rainbows typically spawn during the month of May. Anglers wanting to avoid catching these fish should target their efforts away from flowing waters into or out of the lakes.

Salt Waters


  • Halibut fishing reportedly has been picking up with catch rates increasing in areas closer to town and in shallower water. Fishing should get progressively better for the remainder of May and during June. Popular places to fish halibut in the spring are Whale Pass, Cape Chiniak, and Williams Reef, though fish may be found between Woody Island, Long Island, and Buoy #4.


  • Trolling for Chinook (king) salmon in Kodiak’s marine waters has become very popular in recent years. Kings can be fished successfully year-round, though fishing can be spotty and difficult to predict. Recent reports indicate that trolling has been unpredictable and slow at times. Popular places include Buoy #4, Whale Pass, Sharatin Bay, and Kalsin Bay.

  • Other well-known trolling spots along the road system are Cape Chiniak, Cape Gravelle, and waters between Long Island and Woody Island. Kodiak king salmon average 20 pounds, but fish up to 70 pounds are occasionally caught.

  • The annual Kodiak King Salmon Derby sponsored by the Kodiak Association of Charter Operators is ongoing.

Other Salt Water Fishing

  • Black rockfish can currently be caught at depths of 60 feet or less near kelp beds along rock pinnacles and other natural or man-made structures. Rockfish are also frequently caught from shore at locations such as the outer reaches of White Sand beach and the breakwater barrier shielding St. Paul Harbor. Remember to check the current regulations for the area you intend to fish. Bag limits for rockfish have been reduced to three per day for pelagic rockfish in Chiniak Bay and Marmot Bay.

  • Anglers are reminded that the lingcod season does not open until July 1.

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Kodiak Area Archives for:
May 25, 2017 May 18, 2017 May 08, 2017