Area Sport Fishing Reports
September 05, 2018
Regulation Reminders and Emergency Orders
- Anglers are reminded to review Emergency Orders and News Releases for the Kodiak Area before heading out on their next fishing trip.
- Per Emergency Order No. 2-RS-4-47-18, the bag limit for sockeye salmon was restored to five fish per day, five in possession in the Saltery Cover drainage.
- Per Emergency Order No. 2-RS-4-34-18, the Pasagshak River drainage is closed to sockeye salmon fishing.
- Per Emergency Order No. 2-RS-4-17-18, the Afognak River drainage (Litnik) is closed to sport fishing for sockeye salmon.
- Per Emergency Order No. 2-RS-4-16-18, the Buskin River drainage is closed to sport fishing for sockeye salmon.
- Anglers are reminded that there are no longer closed waters above the highway bridges for streams flowing into Chiniak Bay; however, on September 16 the coho salmon bag limit will change from two fish to one fish, excluding stocked returns.
- Anglers are reminded there are new rockfish regulations for the Kodiak Area.
- The bag and possession limits for rockfish in Chiniak and Marmot Bays has been reduced to three per day, six in possession, only two per day and four in possession may be nonpelagic; however, only ONE per day and TWO in possession may be a Yelloweye. Please review the 2018 Southwest Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for a detailed map of the affected area.
- The deadline to submit proposals to the Alaska Board of Fisheries (BOF) for the 2020 meeting in Kodiak is April 10, 2019. For additional information, please see the BOF support webpage.
- Coho salmon are returning to most local rivers now with good fishing reported at Monashka and Pillar creeks as well as Pasagshak. The water has been very low and warm so fish will be sluggish in many freshwater areas, but fishing near the mouths of the rivers or on incoming tides should still be good.
- The Buskin River weir count for coho salmon is up to 947 fish as of September 2 and counts have slowed down due to the low water levels. Counts at Buskin and escapement into most other rivers will likely improve with the next rain. Fishing might be slow right now, but the fish don’t mind waiting for rain.
- Remote rivers have been seeing good coho salmon returns too. About 2,500 fish were counted through the Litnik weir before it was pulled, and most reports indicate a very strong run there and other Afognak Island streams.
- Coho salmon runs at Olga Lakes, Karluk, and Ayakulik are very strong as well and weir counts have been well ahead of average.
- Coho salmon will continue to come in through early October and can be caught through the end of the year. Remember the bag limit for most road side streams changes to one per day on September 16.
Trout, Dolly Varden
- Dolly fishing has been still been very good by most accounts, rivers such as the Olds, Russian, and American have been good with very large fish. Look to the tail end of pools holding spawning pink or coho salmon for the best Dolly Varden fishing this time of year.
- Dollies will be in most rivers through October and November until they spawn. Most Dolly Varden will migrate to a wintering area at some point in the fall and can be caught through the winter in places like Buskin Lake or other larger lakes.
- Fall is still a good time to fish our stocked lakes as rainbow trout stay fairly active until the first freeze or two. Even then fishing can remain good through the winter. When conditions prevail, some of the best rainbow trout fishing in these lakes is through the ice, just be sure to check ice conditions carefully.
- Steelhead trout fishing is a popular fall and winter fishery on Kodiak. The most popular area to fish is the Karluk River, but smaller runs are found in the Buskin and Litnik, as well as Dog Salmon and Ayakulik. Steelhead trout run in October and November but spend the winter in freshwater before spawning so they can be caught in places like the Buskin through the winter months.
- Wild steelhead and rainbow trout on the road system are catch-and-release only and the use of bait is also restricted other than for stocked lakes from November 1, 2018, through April 30, 2019.
- Halibut fishing has been spotty this summer, but recent reports indicate good success. This time of year look to waters between 80 and 120 feet for good halibut fishing and many times they can be caught in very shallow water near river mouths through September. Popular areas include Buoy 4, Kalsin Reef, Cape Chiniak, and Kodiak Rocks.
- Halibut fishing can remain good through the fall and early winter months but remember the month of January is closed to halibut fishing.
- Coho salmon are being caught at Buoys 3 and 4 with good success, as well as, off Cape Chiniak. Coho salmon will be returning to freshwaters from now through the end of September and fishing will taper off as more fish return to freshwaters.
- Anglers are reminded that within 1 mile of shore of the Kodiak Road System, the coho salmon bag limit is two per day, some places on Woody Island are within 1 mile of the Kodiak shoreline.
- Last year, trolling for coho salmon was surprisingly good through the end of September and things look similar this year. However, by the last week of September most coho salmon runs will nearly be over and fishing will drop off quickly.
- King salmon trolling has been spotty by most accounts but there are still fish to be found at places like Buoy 3 and 4, and Chiniak and Ugak islands. Although with the amount of coho salmon around, finding king salmon may be more difficult.
- Kings are generally found in relatively near shore waters into early October but fishing through the winter months can be more unpredictable. King salmon can be caught at any time of the year in Kodiak waters, but will move off shore or in new areas frequently in search of food.
Other Saltwater Fishing
- Rockfish can be caught on most rock pinnacles and reefs in Chiniak and Marmot bays, and fishing has been steady by most reports. Rockfish can be caught year-round as well, though they can be finicky at certain times of the year.
- Black rockfish can also be caught just out of the boat harbor near kelp beds along rock pinnacles and other natural or man-made structures. 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.
- Anglers report good numbers of rockfish near Buoy 4 and most rocky areas close by.
- Lingcod have been reported caught on several of the rockpiles outside Long Island and around the north end of Long Island near Kodiak Rocks and Williams Reef.
- Remember that the lingcod season closes from January 1 through June 30 annually.
This is the last fishing report for the 2018 season. This fishing report will be updated when additional information is available. For current seasonal information, please contact the Kodiak office at (907) 486-1880.