Area Sport Fishing Reports
July 12, 2018
Summer 2018 fishing opportunities
Sockeye (red) salmon
The first large pulse of sockeye salmon entered the Chilkoot River this week. Chilkoot River sockeye salmon counts have been below average so far this year. You can see graphs of current and historic sockeye salmon counts online from Chilkoot River, Chilkat River fish wheels, and Chilkat Lake weir.
It can be challenging to catch a sockeye salmon in the mouth, which is the only legal way to retain a sockeye salmon in fresh water. A how-to article and video on fishing for Klutina River reds shows some proven techniques (starting at 2:50 in the video).
Trout and Dolly Varden
Dolly Varden char and cutthroat trout can be caught in clear water tributary streams and in lakes, such as Mosquito Lake, Chilkat Lake, and Chilkoot Lake.
Regulations specific to Mosquito Lake and Chilkat Lake:
- Bait is not allowed.
- Cutthroat and rainbow trout - 2 fish bag and possession limit, 14-inch min. and 22 inch max. length required to keep.
Regulations specific to Chilkoot Lake and Chilkoot River:
- Bait is allowed year-round.
- Dolly Varden - 4 fish bag and possession limit, no size limit.
Sea-run Dolly Varden and cutthroat that are feeding in salt water for the summer can be caught in near-shore salt waters of Taiya Inlet near Skagway, and in Lutak, Chilkoot, and Chilkat Inlets around Haines.
Take a hike and fish for Dollies and Cutties on Skagway's shoreline at Yakutania Point, or on two Chilkat State Park trails near Haines: Battery Point, and Seduction Point. Or hike 20 minutes up to Skagway's Lower Dewey Lake to catch Eastern Brook Trout.
Pot fishing for shrimp and Dungeness crab is open year round in the Haines and Skagway area salt water. Non-Alaska residents catch shellfish under a sport fishing license with the following bag & possession limits:
- Dungeness crab - 3 legal size males.
- Shrimp - 3 quarts or pounds.
NEW Sport shrimp harvesters must record their catch on a paper permit. The no-cost Southeast Sport Shrimp Permit is available online at the ADF&G Store. 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.
Residents of Yukon Territory in Canada may purchase an annual Alaska sport fishing license for the same price that Alaska residents pay. However, Yukoners are not Alaska residents, so Yukoners must comply with the non-resident regulations such as number of shellfish pots, shellfish bag limits, and king salmon bag and annual limits. The Yukoner license is available from license vendors in Whitehorse, Haines, and Skagway.
Alaska residents under 18 years old do not need a sport fishing license. Non-Alaska residents under 16 years old do not need a sport fishing license.
Chilkat River king salmon abundance in salt water is very low, so retention of king salmon is not allowed in the Haines and Skagway area from April 1-December 31, 2018. Chilkat Inlet is closed to king salmon sport fishing April 1-June 30.
Despite fishery restrictions in 2017, Chilkat River king salmon inriver abundance was 1,300 large fish, which is well below the goal range of 1,850 to 3,600 large fish. Most wild king salmon runs in Southeast Alaska were very weak in 2017. We expect Chilkat River king salmon run to be smaller than the escapement goal again in 2018.
For more information about sport fishing in Haines and Skagway, call Area Biologist Richard Chapell at 907-766-3638.