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Area Sport Fishing Reports

September 28, 2017

Week of September 29 to October 6

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 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.
  • 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.

Freshwater Fishing


  • The Buskin Weir is the only weir still counting fish on Kodiak right now and focused primarily on coho salmon. The weir will be pulled this week. Most late sockeye salmon runs are finished for the season.
  • Almost all road side streams have coho in them at this point, current hot spots are the Olds, Roslyn, Salonie, Russian, and Sargent for wild runs.
  • Stocked returns to Monashka, Pillar, Mission Beach, and Mill Bay are in full swing and the bag limit is still two per day for stocked returns, while the rest of the road system changed to a one fish bag limit on September 16.
  • Latest reports indicate that fishing is slow at the American and Pasagshak; however, these runs can be very late in some years.
  • Returns to the Buskin River have been mixed. A large number of fish came into the river in early September, but recent returns have been slower than anticipated. This run typically continues through early October so more fish are likely yet to come.
  • Fishing has been good at the Olds and Roslyn Rivers in particular.
  • Coho salmon runs typically peak in mid-September, but it appears that many rivers are still running strong. It’s likely that coho salmon runs will taper off from now through early October.

Trout, Dolly Varden

  • Dolly Varden are in almost all local rivers and fishing has been good. The biggest returns of dollies will be found in Buskin, American, Olds, and Pasagshak rivers but can be caught in all local drainages. Many fish will be following pink and coho salmon up the rivers and will be spread throughout the drainages; look to the tail-outs of pools holding spawning salmon for the best dolly fishing.
  • Most stocked lakes should still be warm and rainbows will be active and feeding throughout the lakes. Late September and early October often provide excellent rainbow trout fishing. 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.

Saltwater Fishing


  • Halibut fishing continues to be good when the weather allows. With some reports of fish being caught in less than 20 feet of water near the mouths of local rivers. Most recently, Buoy 3, Outer Humpback Rock, and Cape Chiniak have been the go-to spots. Other popular places to fish halibut are Whale Pass 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 is still very good at Buoys 3 and 4 and near Chiniak when the weather is good.
  • Anglers report large numbers of very small king salmon that are easily caught while trolling. Anglers are reminded that the ‘jack’ bag limit of ten salmon less than 20 inches only applies to freshwater. These are immature salmon and will continue to grow if released unharmed.
  • King salmon bag limits are two per day of any size.
  • Saltwater king salmon fishing should continue through the winter months, however, fish will get harder to find as waters cool for the year.

Other Saltwater Fishing

  • Black rockfish can be caught almost year round 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.
  • Lingcod season opened on July 1 and the bag limit is two per day of any size.
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