Area Sport Fishing Reports
October 16, 2019
As the snow line creeps lower on the mountainside there’s no doubt that winter is fast approaching. While some anglers may hang up their fishing rods until Spring, don’t forget about the many angling opportunities that exist throughout the winter. This will be the last Petersburg/Wrangell fishing report for the 2019 season, fishing reports will resume in Spring of 2020.
Winter King Salmon
King salmon can be found year round in local marine waters although catch rates are typically much slower during the winter time. Although anglers may need to put their time in, there is nothing like a fresh winter king salmon. The current regulations for marine waters throughout the management area are as follows:
- Residents: the bag and possession limit is 2 king salmon 28 inches or greater in length. No annual limit.
- Nonresidents: the bag and possession limit is 1 king salmon 28 inches or greater in length. Annual limit of one.
- Reminder: Only one rod per person may be used to target king salmon this winter.
Fall Coho Salmon
In most freshwater drainages with coho salmon, coho will be present throughout October and occasionally as late as early December. Now is a good time to try coho fishing in freshwater but anglers can expect opportunity to decline as coho salmon complete their spawning run. Bait can be used in most freshwater systems between September 15- November 15. Anglers are encouraged to look at the 2019 Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulation Summary to confirm if the use of bait is allowed in the waterbody they intend to fish.
Shellfish are available year round and can make a great addition to the traditional holiday meals.
Dungeness and Tanner crab are open to the sport fishery throughout the winter, just be sure your shellfish pots are equipped with properly sized escape rings, bouy markings, and a biodegradable release (cotton twine) https://vimeo.com/89360635. Pages 33-36 of the 2019 Southeast Alaska Regulation Summary describe shellfish bag and possession limits, size limits, and detailed photos of how to distinguish between a male and female crab.
Shrimp are also available year round in the Petersburg/Wrangell area. In addition to your sport fishing license anglers fishing for shrimp will need to pick up a free shrimp permit to record their harvest. Permits are available online at https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/Store/
Rockfish are another species where fishing opportunity can be year round. Bag and possession limits for the waters in the Petersburg and Wrangell area are:
- Bag limit of 5 and possession limit of 10 (residents and nonresidents), no size limits and no annual limit.
- Bag and possession limit (residents and nonresidents) of one, no size limit.
- Nonresidents have an annual limit of one yelloweye rockfish.
Anglers are encouraged to use a rockfish release device whenever releasing rockfish. Please see the Southeast Alaska Sport Fish Regulation Summary or visit your local ADF&G office to see examples of rockfish release devices and learn about their use. Anglers are reminded that beginning January 1, 2020 all anglers will be required to carry and use a rockfish release device whenever releasing rockfish.
Halibut catch rates typically decline as winter approaches but anglers may continue to find opportunity for halibut. Anglers are reminded that sport fishing for halibut is closed during the month of January.