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Area Sport Fishing Reports

September 15, 2017

Week of September 15 to September 21

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.

Freshwater Fishing


  • The Department of Fish and Game counting weir on the Karluk is counting late run sockeye salmon. The Buskin weir is counting coho salmon and Litnik, Ayakulik, Saltery, and Pasagshak have been pulled for the season.
  • Coho are in in the Buskin and most road side streams. A large push of fish came in with the most recent rain but fish continue to come into most local rivers daily.
  • The one exception is that reports indicate fishing is slow at the American but a few fish are likely to be found still.
  • Fishing has been good at the Olds and Roslyn rivers in particular.
  • Stocked returns to Mill Bay and Mission Beach appear strong, though fishing has been very good some days and poor on other days.
  • Returns to Pillar and Monashka creeks are also coming in though many of the early fish that came in the freshwaters were caught already. There are; however, large numbers of coho in the near-shore waters of Monashka Bay.
  • Coho runs typically peak in mid-September so returns should continue to build through this weekend.

Trout, Dolly Varden

  • Dolly Varden are in almost all local rivers and fishing has been excellent. 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 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 be warm 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. Fall is often a great time to fish rainbows. 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.
  • Anglers report large numbers of very small king salmon that are easily caught while trolling. Anglers are reminded that the ‘jack’ bag limit of 10 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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