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Area Sport Fishing Reports
August 11, 2017
Summer fishing opportunities
Pink salmon runs are strong in Haines and Skagway waters, and some very large pinks have been landed. Pinks can be caught in numerous fresh water streams and from salt water beaches.
Sockeye (aka "red") salmon runs are in progress in the Chilkoot and Chilkat Rivers. The Chilkoot River run has been below average, but is on track to meet the escapement goal. The Chilkat Lake weir sockeye salmon escapement count is also on track to meet the escapement goal.
The water in the Chilkat River, Taiya River, and other glacial-sourced streams is turbid with glacial silt in the summer. The Chilkoot River water is clearer than other area rivers. For tips on sockeye salmon fishing in glacial water, watch "How to Fish for Klutina River Reds" on Vimeo or YouTube starting at the 3:00 minute mark.
Chilkat River king salmon abundance is very low, so retention of king salmon is not allowed in Subdistrict 15-A (Haines and Skagway area) now through December 31, 2017.
The only exception is Pullen Creek in downtown Skagway where king salmon sport fishing and harvest is allowed to take advantage of king salmon returning from a hatchery smolt release program. The bag limit in Pullen Creek is 4 king salmon of any size. There are a few king salmon among the numerous pink salmon in Pullen Pond and Pullen Creek.
Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout are feeding in clear water tributaries, and in salt water in upper Lynn Canal. Bait is allowed when fishing in most waters in the Haines/Skagway area, except bait is not allowed when fishing in Chilkat Lake, Mosquito Lake, or their inlet and outlet streams.
Pot fishing for Dungeness crab and shrimp is open year round in the Haines and Skagway area salt water.
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 they 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.
For Alaska residents only, the southeast Alaska red and blue king crab personal use fishery is open July 1 through March 31. In the Haines/Skagway area, the bag and possession limit is one legal size male crab.
Poor king salmon runs in 2017
The 2017 wild king salmon runs are weak in the Chilkat River and other southeast Alaska rivers, such as the Unuk, Stikine, Taku, and Alsek. Sport, commercial, and subsistence fisheries were restricted in 2017 to attain spawning escapement goals in these rivers. King salmon retention has been prohibited in the sport fishery and in the commercial troll fishery throughout Southeast Alaska now through September 30.
For more information about sport fishing in Haines and Skagway, call Area Biologist Richard Chapell at 907-766-3638.