Kodiak Management Area
The Kodiak Remote Zone, which includes the remainder of the island outside the road system, provides excellent opportunities for all five species of Pacific salmon as well as Dolly Varden and steelhead trout. Most visitors are looking for chinook , silver, and red salmon as well as steelhead trout. The remote zone is served almost exclusively by small aircraft and boats. Many remote zone streams have a greater flow, less brush and debris, making them better suited for watercraft access.
The earliest remote zone salmon runs do not occur until early June. Consequently, few if any remote-based fish guiding services are in operation before then. Because of a relatively high demand for guided fishing services in the remote zone, it is advisable to make arrangements six months to a year in advance of trip dates. Lodging accommodations should also be made well in advance of planned trip dates. Most anglers use one of Kodiak's many small aircraft charter services, or arrange air travel in advance with the lodge owner or guide service.
The majority of anglers use one of Kodiak's many small charter services. Air travel should be arranged in advance with the lodge owner or guide service.
Kodiak Island road system is defined as all fresh waters of Kodiak Island east of a line from Craig Point south to the westernmost point of Saltery Cove, including freshwaters of Woody, Long and Spruce islands, as well as all saltwater bordering the road system within one mile of Spruce and Kodiak islands. The road system has approximately 70 miles of paved and hard-packed gravel roads crossing 10 significant streams and provides access to over 20 stocked lakes. A 13-mile gravel road leading to Saltery Cove requires 4-wheel-drive or use of an ATV.
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The Road System streams and lakes provide fishing opportunities for salmon, Dolly Varden, rainbow trout and steelhead. Major waterways include the following streams: Buskin, Saltery, Pasagshak, Olds and American rivers, Roslyn, Salonie, Monashka, Pillar and Chiniak creeks. Anglers will find the road system streams a delight with no raging currents or 50-yard casts, just clear riffles alternating with deep pools and gravelly banks. However, some streams have abrupt and brushy banks.
Hip boots or chest waders are highly desirable while wading, which often provides the best access to the fish. Upstream of low-lying coastal areas, most road system rivers are braided, fast flowing, shallow and generally unsuitable for rafts, canoes, or other personal watercraft. However, a number of road-accessible lakes, such as Buskin, Kalsin Pond and Lake Rose Tead, which borders the Pasagshak State Recreation Area, are well suited for small rafts and float tubes.
Regulations on the road system differ slightly from Kodiak's Remote Zone, so check the regulations carefully.
Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutian Island chain cover a vast area with numerous rivers and lakes, many which are unnamed. The area is remote, expensive to get there, weather can be extreme and the beauty, wildlife and fishing are spectacular. All five species of Pacific salmon return to some of systems on the Peninsula as do steelhead, wild rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, grayling and artic char may also be found. Access to these areas is expensive, and few services are generally available. Many anglers wishing to experience fishing in this area usually contact a guide service.
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The Alaska Department of Fish and Game operates weirs on six rivers (Sandy, Ilnik, Chignik, Nelson/Sapsuk, Bear and Orskinie rivers) within in the Alaska Peninsula. The purpose of a weir is to identify and enumerate species of anadromous fish during their upstream migration and the seaward migration for Dolly Varden and steelhead. Weirs are just one of the tools the department utilizes to monitor escapement in order to manage the commercial, sport and subsistence fisheries. You can search the salmon escapement database for these rivers.
Southwest Alaska is a land of extreme climatic conditions. The Aleutians and Peninsula are open to the storms of the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska yet block the rest of the region from the moderating maritime effects. The area is prone to winds and long drawn out periods of rain. Temperatures are cool, general in the 40's to 70's in the summers and painfully cold in the winter. Ice breaks up in May and forms again in October. April and June are the sunniest months, but any time of the year, be sure to bring the best rain gear you can find. The fall season is the wettest time of the year.
In early spring wild rainbow trout, steelhead, Dolly Varden and artic char can be found. Chinook salmon run early June to the end of July with an average size of 15 to 30 pounds, however, on some rivers they can average between 30 to 50 pounds. Sockeye salmon start returning to rivers in early June through end of July, and on Bear River through the month of September. Chum and pink salmon run the months of July and August. Lastly coho salmon return mid August into October with average size of 14 to 20 pounds.
Remote opportunities for freshwater king salmon fishing along the Alaska Peninsula are available in a number of locations, including the Chignik River on the Gulf of Alaska side and also in several streams draining into Bristol Bay between the villages of Port Heiden and Nelson Lagoon. The Nelson, Sandy, Cinder, Bear and Meshik rivers all support relatively small returns of king salmon.
Little is known about the abundance and location of rainbow trout and Steelhead populations in the Aleutians or in streams along the Alaska Peninsula draining into the Gulf of Alaska. These populations are some of the most remote and less fished.