Area Sport Fishing Reports
June 22, 2020
An excellent resource for planning a trip to Sitka is the gofishak interactive map which provides information on fishing locations, species run timing, fishing gear and angler access.
Just a reminder to all our anglers, please do your part to help slow the spread of Covid-19 by following and reviewing the current State of Alaska Health Mandates in effect. This includes practicing social distancing and wearing a face covering while sport or personal use fishing and when buying fishing supplies from your local store as indicated in Health Alert 010.
For further information, please feel free to contact the Sitka area sportfish management staff at (907) 747-5355.
As of June 15th the bag and possession limit for King Salmon has been increased to 3 for Alaska residents. Non-residents are allowed one King salmon a day, with the annual limit increased to 4. All king salmon must be 28 inches or greater in length.
King fishing continues to be productive for private anglers this year with charter effort beginning to pick up. Based on marine catch sampling from the previous week, king salmon were harvested primarily from Outer Sitka Sound, Salisbury sound and Biorka Island. King salmon fishing in Sitka area waters should continue to improve through late June.
In the past week anglers have spotted Pinks, Chum, Sockeye and Coho, though each in very low numbers. As the season progresses, these fish will begin to be seen in much greater numbers as they return to their native streams. The first few sockeye have been passed at the Redoubt weir and anecdotal evidence tells of them in several other systems in the area as well.
Halibut fishing will begin to pick up soon as pink and chum move closer to shore. Based on marine catch sampling from the previous week, most halibut were harvested off of Cape Edgecumbe and in Salisbury Sound.
Sport fishing for lingcod has been average this season. Try fishing near pinnacles and structure with large lead/rubber or metal jigs.
In 2020 Demersal Shelf Rockfish fishing is closed. This subset of nonpelagic rockfish includes Yelloweye, Quillback, China, Tiger, Rosethorn, Copper, and Canary. Fishing for slope rockfish and pelagic species is still open year-round. The department has developed a guide to assist anglers in identifying species groupings at https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/home/pdfs/KeepDontKeepRockfish.pdf
As of 2020, anglers are required to use a rockfish release device to return rockfish that are not harvested to the depth of capture or 100 feet, whichever is shallower. 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.
Be sure to check your local fishing regulations to be aware of harvest limits and size requirements for shellfish. Be aware that certain types of shellfish in Southeast Alaska have been known to cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) which can be fatal.
Anglers shrimp fishing are required to obtain a free permit for sport, personal use and subsistence shrimp harvest for each calendar year. 2020 Southeast Shrimp Permits are available online at the ADF&G store or at your local ADF&G office. The shrimp harvest, location, and number of pots pulled must be recorded each day, and the permit must be returned to ADF&G or reported online at the end of the year.
Dolly Varden and Rainbow/Cutthroat Trout
Dolly Varden and Rainbow/cutthroat trout can be targeted year-round and are actively feeding as the water warms up. Fishing is fair right now in fresh waters and also near mouths of streams. Dolly Varden, rainbow trout, and other resident species target pink and chum fry as they migrate and exit streams.
There are also several lakes on the Sitka Road System that contain rainbow, cutthroat and brook trout, as well as grayling and Dolly Varden see the interactive map for more details.