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Area Sport Fishing Reports
September 15, 2016
Final report for season,
September 12 through December 31
Issued September 14, 2016
- Emergency Orders and regulation reminders:
- Effective June 4, the bag limit for sockeye in the Afognak River (Litnik) is increased from 5 to 10 fish per day.
- Effective June 9, the bag limit for sockeye in the Buskin River is increased from 2 to 5 fish per day.
- Effective July 6, the bag limit for sockeye in the Saltery River is increased from 5 to 10 fish per day.
- Effective July 14, sportfishing for sockeye salmon is re-opened in the Pasagshak River drainage.
- Effective September 16, sportfishing for coho salmon is closed in the Buskin River and only unbaited, single hooks are allowed.
- Drainages flowing into Chiniak Bay that are closed above the highway bridges to salmon fishing will re-open September 16th for the rest of the year.
- Department of Fish and Game counting weirs on the Karluk and Olga rivers continue to operate to count returns of late sockeye salmon. Returns of coho salmon to the Buskin River are counted at the lower, floating weir near Bridge 2 through the end of September. The goal for this run is 4,700 to 9,600 fish.
- A radio telemetry and tagging project is currently underway for Buskin coho, if you catch a fish with a colored tag or radio transmitter please contact the Dept at 486-1880. These tags contain valuable information for the project.
- About 1400 coho have been counted through the Buskin weir and so far the run is below average. The run typically peaks in mid-September but now appears to be well past the peak. The Department is not projecting to meet the escapement goal and will subsequently be closing the Buskin to coho fishing on September 16th. If counts improve, fishing opportunity may be restored, however, it appears that there are few new fish entering the river with each tide despite adequate water levels in the river.
- Coho runs are doing well in other road side rivers but may also be past their peak. Reports are in that the Olds and American are having excellent runs but fishing has been slow and fish are not biting readily. Similar reports have come out of Saltery and Pasagshak drainages. Fish may bite more readily as temperatures cool down soon.
- Anglers are reminded that the limit for coho on the road system is 2 per day, this includes Saltery, Miam and Sacramento rivers.
- For the rest of the season, coho returns will continue to trickle in through the month of September and in to early October. Bright coho can be caught as late as the first week in November in some cases. Peak spawning typically occurs in late October and early November and most fish will be turning colors by early October.
- After Kodiak salmon counting weirs begin operating anglers can find daily updated counts at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/FishCounts/ .
- Dolly Varden are prevalent in most of the road side creeks. Popular places to fish dollies are the American River, Salonie Creek and Buskin River. Dollies can be found in any of Kodiak’s streams into the fall. Streams flowing into Chiniak Bay are open to fishing for Dolly Varden above the highway bridges year round. Dollies can currently be found following spawning salmon and some of the best dolly fishing can be found during October. Dollies will leave their spawning habitat for over-wintering waters, like Buskin Lake, by mid-November in many cases, though can be found year round in some rivers.
- Fall and early winter can be a good time to fish rainbow trout in the stocked lakes along the Kodiak road zone, but fish will become less active as the water temperature cools down. 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.
- Halibut fishing has been good by most reports and may be past the peak fishing time now. Popular places to fish halibut are Whale Pass, Cape Chiniak and Williams Reef. Reports have been coming in that many fish are larger than the last several years, averaging between 30 and 40 pounds and larger. Halibut can be caught through the end of the year but be sure to observe the short closure for halibut fishing in January. During colder months, look to deeper waters for the best fishing.
- 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 difficult to predict.
- Most reports indicate that trolling for king salmon has been excellent in some areas but slow in others. Popular places to troll include Buoy #4, Whale Pass, Cape Chiniak and between Woody and Long islands. Kodiak king salmon average 20 pounds, but fish up to 70 pounds are occasionally caught. These locations can provide good fishing even through the winter.
- Silver salmon are often caught just off-shore in places like Buoy 4, and near Woody Island, but most fishing for silvers in saltwater is over by mid-September. Saltwater trolling for coho has been slow by most accounts though some reports indicate fish can be found deeper than 100 ft.
Other salt water fishing
- Black rockfish are able to be caught near rock-pinnacles and many other sub-surface structures and fishing can be good year round. They can also be caught from shore, with likely places including some of the points in Monashka Bay and the breakwaters at Dog Bay harbor.
- Lingcod season opened July 1 and there are some reports that fishing has been good and the abundance of lingcod has been high. Lingcod season will close again January 1st.