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Area Sport Fishing Reports
August 17, 2017
Week of August 18 to August 24
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 10 per day.
- Effective July 19, the Saltery River sockeye salmon bag limit has been increased to 10 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.
- Department of Fish and Game counting weirs on Karluk and Ayakulik are counting late run sockeye salmon. The Buskin weir is shifting to focus on coho salmon and Litnik, Saltery, and Pasagshak have been pulled for the season.
- Pinks are showing up in almost all local drainages and most reports indicate very large fish so far, similar to last year. Current hot spots are Russian and Sargent Creeks, Olds River, Monashka Creek, and many beaches in Chiniak.
- Bright pink salmon offer an excellent opportunity for fly and spin fishers this time of year, and there still appear to be bright pinks coming in. Most fish should be moving towards spawning in the next two weeks.
- Many reports have come in that there are excellent chum runs in most local drainages. Generally, chums are not very good to eat when they enter freshwater in this area but are excellent fighters and can be over 15 pounds. They will readily take flies and spinners of most varieties.
- There are reports of a few cohos around so far at Pillar Creek and in the Buskin River, but few reports from anywhere else. It looks like coho runs are behind the last two years run timing but it’s not out of the ordinary yet. We are typically no more than 5% through the normal run timing for coho.
- Stocked returns of cohos to Monashka Bay drainages should be showing up any day. Returns to Mill Bay and Mission Beach are often some of the first to arrive.
- Anglers can find daily updated weir counts here.
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, though many fish will be following pink salmon up the rivers and will be spread throughout the drainages.
- 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 continues to be good with fish in the 40-70 lbs. range being caught in areas closer to town and in shallower water. 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 has been good at Buoys 3 and 4 and in the vicinity of Long Island, though there are lots of pinks and coho that anglers report make king fishing difficult.
- Other well-known trolling spots along the road system are Cape Chiniak, Cape Gravelle, and the waters near Ugak Island. Kodiak king salmon average 20 pounds, but fish up to 70 pounds are occasionally caught.
- Recent reports indicate coho fishing has been excellent at Buoy 4 and other locations close to town. Many anglers report large schools of bait fish that coho, pinks, and kings are feeding on.
- Anglers are also noting the large size of coho salmon in the saltwater. These fish should be heading towards freshwater any day now so fishing is likely to be good for only a short while.
- Reports of large chum runs have come in throughout the island and several anglers have caught chums while trolling. Chum salmon can be excellent fighters, and when bright, can be excellent eating too.
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.