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Archived Sport Fishing Report
May 28, 2014
Week of May 25 to May 31
Issued May 27, 2014
Emergency Orders and regulation reminders
• Effective June 1, in the Ayakulik River drainage, king salmon sport fishing is restricted to a daily bag limit of one fish and an annual limit of two.
• Effective June 1, in the Karluk River drainage, including Karluk Lagoon, sport fishing for king salmon is restricted to catch and release only. All king salmon caught must be released without being removed from the water. In addition, the use of bait is prohibited for all sport fishing downstream of Karluk Lake.
• The 2014 Chignik River king salmon fishery will start with a bag and possession limit of one king salmon 20 inches or greater in length, and an annual limit of two fish.
• Marine boat anglers returning to any port on the Kodiak road system from May 31 - August 31 may not fillet, mutilate, or de-head king salmon until they have been brought to shore and offloaded, unless the fish have been consumed or preserved on board.
• Department of Fish and Game counting weirs on the Buskin, Afognak, Karluk, Ayakulik rivers are now in operation to count returns of sockeye salmon. King salmon returns will also be counted at Karluk and Ayakulik weirs. Current escapement goals for these two runs are 3,000 – 6,000 and 4,000-7,000 fish, respectively. The current Buskin River sockeye salmon escapement goal is 5,000-8,000 fish.
• In anticipation of relatively poor returns in 2014, sport fishing for king salmon in the Karluk River drainage (including Karluk Lagoon) is restricted to catch and release only. In addition, the use of bait for all sport fishing is prohibited downstream of Karluk Lake. As of May 26, a total of 5 king salmon had passed through the Karluk River weir.
• Poor returns are also expected this year for the Ayakulik and Chignik rivers king salmon runs. Consequently, king salmon sport fishing is restricted at both rivers to a daily bag limit of one fish over 20”, and an annual limit of two. Three king salmon have been counted at the Ayakulik weir as of May 26.
• 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 15,000 fish. The daily bag and possession limit for sockeye salmon within the Kodiak Road Zone is two fish. Just over 200 sockeye have been counted at the Buskin through May 26. The Afognak River weir has counted more than 1,000 sockeye as of last Sunday.
• Now is the time to try for that first sockeye of the year, subsistence fisherman are currently reporting catches of sockeye in front of both Buskin and Afognak rivers.
• After Kodiak salmon counting weirs begin operating, anglers can find daily updated counts at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/FishCounts/.
Trout, Dolly Varden, Grayling
• Dolly Varden are leaving their over-winter fresh waters. Fishing success reportedly continues at locations including Buskin River at the outlet of Buskin Lake. Dollies are also caught in late May and often early June along beaches at Pillar and Monashka creeks and Mission Lake. By late June, Dolly Varden should be available in salt waters near most rivers along the Kodiak road system, the beaches of Roslyn and Myrtle creeks being two favorite locations for local anglers.
• Late May is an excellent time to fish rainbow trout in the stocked lakes along the Kodiak road zone; during and shortly after ice-out the fish travel shoal areas in search of food. Visit lower elevation lakes for rainbow fishing, since some of the higher elevation lakes may still be partially frozen. It’s always a good idea to check water temperatures, as fish will be more active in warmer lakes. 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. Rainbows typically spawn during the month of May, and anglers wishing to avoid catching these fish should target their efforts away from flowing waters into or out of the lakes.
• No reports of halibut fishing have been received in the past week, although halibut fishing is usually good in late May and should get progressively better during June.
• 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 tends to be spotty and difficult to predict. Recent reports indicate that trolling has excellent, with some anglers reporting catching kings in Kalsin Bay.
• The current near-shore abundance of baitfish such as herring and sand lance can occasionally produce results for anglers fishing kings from local beaches. Shore fishing along the Pasagshak River beach is one of the more popular destinations for this prospect.
• Other well-known trolling spots along the road system are Cape Chiniak and the deeper waters on both sides of Long Island. Kodiak king salmon average 20 pounds, but fish up to 70 pounds are occasionally caught.
Other salt water fishing
• Black rockfish can currently be caught at depths of 10 fathoms or less near kelp beds along rock pinnacles and other natural or manmade structures. Rockfish are also frequently caught from shore at locations such as the breakwater barrier shielding St. Paul Harbor.
• Anglers are reminded that the lingcod season does not open until July 1.