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Area Sport Fishing Reports
July 19, 2017
Week of July 21 to July 27
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 Bay are closed to sport fishing for king salmon. In addition, the use of bait is prohibited in Monashka Creek.
- Effective June 7, the Buskin River sockeye salmon bag limit has been increased to five per day.
- Effective June 7, the Karluk River sockeye salmon bag limit has been increased to ten per day.
- Effective July 19, the Saltery River sockeye salmon bag limit has been increased to ten per day. Only five of these may be pink or chum salmon and only two may be coho prior to September 15 and one after September 16.
- Effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 14 through August 9, king salmon in the Chignik River drainage may not be retained or possessed and bait is prohibited.
- In January 2017, the Board of Fisheries adopted new regulations for sport fishing for the Kodiak Area:
- The bag limit for Rockfish in Chiniak and Marmot Bays 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.
- Department of Fish and Game counting weirs on the Buskin, Afognak (Litnik), Dog Salmon, Karluk, and Ayakulik have been installed and are counting sockeye salmon. King salmon returns are also counted at Karluk and Ayakulik 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.
- Sockeye runs at Pasagshak and Saltery approaching their peak (mid-July) and fisheries are in full swing right now. Fishing has been reported to be excellent at Saltery and average at Pasagshak. Weir counts are about 2,600 fish at Pasagshak and more than 15,000 at Saltery. The bag limit at Saltery River has been increase to ten.
- Karluk River king salmon counts continue to be poor and sport fishing for king salmon in the Karluk River drainage (including Karluk Lagoon) will remain closed for the rest of the year. The current weir count is about 2,400 fish, and is virtually over for the year.
- King salmon counts at the Ayakulik remain low, but high water has impeded counts on numerous occasions this season. Right now, the run is not projected to meet escapement objectives and the fishery will remain catch and release through July 25, when king salmon fishing closes by regulation. The current weir count is about 3,600 fish.
- Road system kings continue to trickle in but returns should be past their peak now. Fish are being caught in American and Olds with a few reports from Saloinie. Fishing remains spotty; however, it appears these returns came back weak. Fish are reported to be very large however. Brood stock collection by the Department will be occurring in all three drainages over the next two weeks.
- In recent years, returns of stocked king salmon have been poor to Monashka Creek, though they have been excellent at the American and Olds rivers. Poor returns are expected again this year and 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. There have currently been about 25 kings collected in Monashka Creek for broodstock.
- Anglers can find daily updated fish counts by visiting the ADF&G Fish Count Data webpage.
Trout, Dolly Varden
- Dolly Varden are returning to local rivers now and will continue through the month of August. The biggest returns of dollies will be found in Buskin, American, Olds, and Pasagshak rivers but can be caught in all local drainages. In coming tides near the mouths of most local rivers can be highly productive for dollies this time of year.
- Most stocked lakes should be warming up now and rainbows will be active and feeding throughout the lakes. Look for high relief areas along the lake shores to catch schooling fish traveling in search of food. Harvest of rainbow trout on the Kodiak Road System is only allowed in currently stocked lakes, but many lakes have been stocked historically and rainbows can be caught in nearly all local lakes.
- Halibut fishing reportedly has continued to been good with fish in the 40-70 lb. range caught in areas closer to town and in shallower water. Fishing should be excellent for the remainder of the summer. Popular places to fish halibut are Whale Pass, Outer Humpback Rock, Cape Chiniak, and Williams Reef, though fish may be found between Woody and Long islands and Buoy #4 as well.
- Recent reports indicate that trolling for king salmon has been excellent in Ugak Bay and has increased significantly in the last week around Woody and Long islands. Often, local hotspots will pop up and fishing can remain good for one to two weeks.
- Other well-known trolling spots along the road system are Cape Chiniak, Cape Gravelle, and waters between Long and Woody islands. Kodiak king salmon average 20 pounds, but fish up to 70 pounds are occasionally caught.
- Coho are showing up in Chiniak Bay now and should be available in saltwater fisheries through mid-August. Schooling coho can often be caught just off Woody and Long islands, at Buoys 3 and 4, and near Chiniak.
- Pink salmon have been reported in strong numbers off shore in the saltwater and are starting to come into local rivers as well.
Other Saltwater 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 in most locations on Kodiak Island. 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.
- Ling cod season opened on July 1 and the bag limit is two per day of any size.