Area Sport Fishing Reports
August 2, 2021
NEW! Check out the wefishak page on the ADF&G website for the new gofishak interactive map to discover popular fishing locations and information on species run timing, fishing gear selections, and boat and angler access tips! The previous interactive map for the Haines/Skagway area is still available but will be retired after September 1, 2021. For the most up-to-date information, please use the new app linked above.
* Please do your part to slow the spread of Covid-19 by practicing social distancing while sport and personal use fishing, and wearing a face-covering when social distancing is not possible.
Summer Fishing Opportunities - Fresh Water
The Chilkoot Lake road renovation project is complete, and the campground at Chilkoot Lake is open!
Sockeye salmon counts through the Chilkoot River weir have been high in recent weeks and are on track to meet the escapement goal. You can learn some new techniques for sockeye sport fishing in Chilkoot River's glacial waters starting at 2:45 in this ADF&G video.
Sockeye salmon counts through the Chilkat Lake weir are well below average so far this year. Catching sockeye salmon is possible in some clear waters in the Chilkat River drainage.
Char and Trout
- Bait is not allowed.
- Cutthroat and rainbow trout: 2 fish bag and possession limit, with a slot limit of 14-inch minimum to the 22-inch maximum length required to keep a fish.
In the remainder of the Haines and Skagway area fresh and salt waters, bait is allowed, and the regional length limit for cutthroat and rainbow trout is 11-minimum to the 22-inch maximum.
Fishing for Dolly Varden on Chilkoot Lake is good near the mouths of tributary streams. Chilkoot Lake and Chilkoot River have a special Dolly Varden bag limit:
- Dolly Varden: 4 fish bags and possession limit, no size limit.
In the remainder of Haines-Skagway area salt and fresh waters and most of Southeast Alaska, the Dolly Varden bag and possession limit is 10 fish.
Summer Fishing Opportunities - Salt Water
Pot fishing for shrimp and Dungeness crab is open year-round in the Haines and Skagway area saltwater.
- Non-Alaska residents with a sport fishing license catch shellfish with these bag & possession limits:
- Dungeness crab - 3 legal size males.
- Shrimp - 3 quarts or pounds.
- Alaska residents catch shellfish under subsistence or personal use regulations with more liberal bag & possession limits. See the Southeast Alaska Shellfish Regulation Summary for details.
All shrimp harvesters must print a no-cost permit from the ADF&G online store and record their daily pot fishing effort and harvest on the paper permit. The harvest information must be reported online, or the paper permit must be returned to ADF&G by December 31, 2021.
When the water is calm, take a trip south of town to catch rockfish.
All vessels sport fishing in Southeast Alaska saltwater is required to have at least one functional deepwater release device on board, regardless of the species targeted. Anglers are required to use a deepwater release device to release rockfish to the depth it was hooked or to at least 100 feet depth. To see examples of rockfish release devices and how they work, see the Southeast Alaska Sport Fish Regulation Summary, visit the Rockfish Conservation web page, or visit the Haines ADF&G office.
Rockfish regulations vary by species category. A handy rockfish ID guide is available to download or pick up a hard copy at the Haines Fish & Game office.
Demersal Shelf Rockfish
- Retention of demersal shelf rockfish is prohibited.
- Demersal shelf rockfish species are yelloweye, quillback, china, tiger, canary, copper, and rosethorn rockfish.
- One slope rockfish per day; one in possession.
- Some common slope rockfish species are redbanded, rougheye, silvergrey, shortraker, and vermilion rockfish.
- Five pelagic rockfish per day; ten in possession.
- Some common pelagic rockfish species are black, dark, dusky, widow, and yellowtail rockfish.
King Salmon - No Retention Allowed in the Haines/Skagway Area
ADF&G is continuing king salmon conservation regulations to rebuild the Chilkat River king salmon from very low escapements in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Restrictions on sport, commercial, and subsistence fisheries were successful in delivering healthy king salmon escapements to Chilkat River spawning grounds in 2019 and 2020.
- Now through December 31 - In the entire Haines and Skagway area, the retention of king salmon is prohibited; any king salmon caught must be released immediately and returned to the water unharmed
Sport Fishing Licenses
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.
Residents of Yukon Territory in Canada may purchase an annual Alaska non-resident sport fishing license for the same price that Alaska residents pay. Yukoners are not Alaska residents, so Yukoners must comply with the non-resident regulations such as the 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.
For more information about sport fishing in Haines and Skagway, call Area Biologist Richard Chapell at 907-766-3638.