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Area Sport Fishing Reports
Juneau

June 30, 2020

Beat the Covid-19 blues! Enjoy summer fishing:

* 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 while sport and personal use fishing and wearing a face covering when fishing and if you are needing fishing supplies from your local store as indicated in Health Alert 010.

Summer salmon & halibut fishing has begun! Lose your Covid-19 blues, socially distance on your boat or on a remote coastline and let your mind clear of all the stress of the last few months. Or partake of the local hatchery king salmon that have returned to Juneau in force! This past week, anglers have had success in catching kings in Auke Bay, Fritz Cove, Lena Cove, the Breadline, Dupont and the backside of Douglas, in front of Fish Creek and at Picnic Cove. King salmon anglers making trips to outside waters from Icy Straits to Elfin Cove have also continued to have good luck. Sockeye salmon fishing at Windfall Creek is now closed, with fishing prohibited from June 1st – July 31st, except for Wednesdays and Saturdays during the month of June. Chum salmon are beginning to be harvested in the Juneau area with catches from Lizard Head, Spuhn Island and from the DIPAC dock. Dollies and cutthroat are still available in fresh and saltwaters on the Juneau roadsystem. An increasing number of halibut and rockfish are being reported to ADF&G Creel samplers with the best reports from around Shelter Island, the reefs north of Shelter, Pt. Couverden, the Sisters, Homeshore and Horse/Colt islands. Rockfish species reported caught include Duskies, Silvergreys and 1 Quillback that was released.

Anglers are reminded that the bag and possession limit for pelagic rockfish, those that live in schools up in the water column, is 5 fish daily, 10 in possession. These include the Dark, Dusky, Widow, Black, Deacon, and Yellowtail. For the purposes of fishing regulations, anything that is not one of these species is a nonpelagic rockfish. See page 38 of the 2020 Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary for pictures and identification. Nonpelagic rockfish cannot be kept this season, except for a daily bag and possession limit of 1 slope rockfish. Nonpelagic rockfish, those that do not live primarily up in the water column (such as pelagic rockfish), but instead live near the bottom can be categorized as “slope” or “shelf” rockfish. This refers to their habitat preference for living on the continental shelves (~300’ deep or less) or on the shelf break where the shelves drop into even deeper waters. Anglers cannot keep nonpelagic shelf rockfish such as Yelloweye, Quillback, Copper, China, Canary, Tiger or Rosethorn. These are long-lived, have a low fecundity (produce relatively few offspring) and can more easily be overharvested. Because of this, ADF&G has conservation concerns for these nonpelagic shelf species. Nonpelagic slope rockfish are not normally encountered, unless fishing very deep and there is less of a concern for overharvest. Slope species that can be harvested (1 fish per day and in possession, no annual limit) include: Redbanded, Rougheye, Shortraker, Silvergrey and Vermillion. Try this link for more information on fish identification: https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=blackrockfish.resources

Anglers should also note that a working Deepwater Release Device is required to be onboard while fishing, and must be used to release all rockfish that are caught and not kept. This device allows rockfish to be released safely at depth, so their swim bladder can deflate without killing the fish. Do not “fizz” or vent released rockfish. More information can be found at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishingSportFishingInfo.rockfishconservation

King Salmon fishing

ADF&G Marine Creel personnel began their surveys of shoreside fishing areas in early June this year. Please help them collect the requested information so that ADF&G can continue to sustainably manage king salmon. So far this month around Juneau, the best fishing has been on the hatchery kings returning to release sites including Auke Bay and Fritz Cove, Picnic Cove/Outer Point, and Lena Cove. Most fish have been caught trolling, but a few shore anglers are having luck casting from shore in the Channel in front of Fish Creek, at Picnic Cove, and in shallow waters at Lena.

Freshwater drainages crossed by the Juneau Road System are open year-round to king salmon fishing with a bag and possession limit of 4 fish of any size. King salmon caught by nonresidents in these drainages do not count toward their annual limit. In addition, liberalized methods and means went into effect for Fish Creek Pond from June 1- August 31. Please consult the Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary Booklet for these regulations.

Saltwater shoreline catch rates for king salmon have been decent, with some hatchery king salmon in good condition caught from the mouth of Fish Creek on Douglas and along the shoreline at DIPAC. Casting with large spoons or spinners or mooching with plugs will often entice a strike. Snagging is prohibited in saltwater at the mouth of Auke Creek, at the mouth of Fish Creek, at the mouth of Peterson Creek, and off the Gastineau Channel Wayside Park fishing dock.

Sport Fishing Regulations for King Salmon in salt waters of Southeast Alaska and the Juneau area:

Southeast Regionwide regulations are now in place that provide increased opportunity for king salmon harvest in the sport fishery. These are effective June 15 at 12:01 am through 11:59 pm Wednesday, September 30, 2020:

Alaska resident:

  • The bag and possession limit is THREE king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length.

Nonresident:

  • The bag and possession limit is ONE king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length.
  • The nonresident annual limit is FOUR king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length.
  • Immediately upon landing and retaining a king salmon a nonresident must enter the species, date and location on their sport fishing license or on a nontransferable harvest record.

These regionwide regulations will apply to all areas except as modified below for the inside waters in the vicinity of Juneau and within the designated saltwater hatchery sport harvest areas

Note that Taku Inlet adjacent to the Taku River (Taku Inlet north of a line from Point Bishop to Point Greely), and The waters adjacent to the King Salmon River: (Section 11-D, Seymour Canal north of 57° 37' N. latitude, see map 1) will open to king salmon fishing July 1.

Anglers fishing north of the area should review the advisory announcement announcing regulations for the Haines/Skagway areas. Anglers fishing south of the Juneau area should review the advisory announcement announcing regulations for the Petersburg/Wrangell and Ketchikan areas.

Sport Fishing Regulations for King Salmon in Saltwaters near Juneau

Map 1. Sport Fishing Regulations for King Salmon in Saltwaters near Juneau

Sport Fishing Regulations for Hatchery Areas near Juneau:

The hatchery-produced king salmon regulations for the designated saltwater hatchery sport harvest area (see map 2) will be in effect from 12:01 a.m. Monday, June 15 through 11:59 p.m. Monday, August 31, 2020. These new regulations are as follows:

  • The daily bag and possession limit is FOUR king salmon of any size;
  • King salmon harvested by nonresidents in the designated saltwater hatchery sport harvest area do not count toward their annual limit.

The department is liberalizing sport fishing regulations in the designated saltwater hatchery sport harvest area due to the number of returning hatchery-produced king salmon exceeding brood stock needs for the hatchery program. See map 2.

For further information concerning this announcement please contact Region 1 office in Douglas at (907) 465-4270.

Sport Fishing Regulations for the Hatchery Sport Harvest Areas near Juneau

Map 2. Sport Fishing Regulations for the Hatchery Sport Harvest Areas near Juneau

Other Salmon fishing

Saltwater

Coho (silver), chum (dog), and pink (humpies) salmon will continue to arrive in Juneau area marine waters during July and August. Marine harvest rates for chum and pink salmon should peak around the end of July to the first of August. Coho salmon fishing is generally excellent later in the year but cohos have started to show up in the marine sport fisheries in outside waters already.

Anglers usually harvest salmon in marine waters by trolling or mooching herring, hoochies, flies, or plugs. Trolling involves actively pulling terminal fishing gear through the water fast enough to provide a spin or roll which imitates a wounded baitfish. Mooching is done from an anchored or drifting boat and is an effective technique when fishing in medium to strong currents. This type of fishing involves jigging or mooching gear that allows the gear to flutter and drift with the current.

Other Trout/Dolly Varden fishing

Spring and early summer is the time when sea run Dolly Varden and other trout (rainbows and cutthroat) foraging in the marine and nearshore waters around the area. Lake outlets and streams that connect to the salt water are prime places to harvest these fish in the spring. After the outmigration, the saltwater shoreline fishing can be productive before they again follow the salmon back upstream. Out in saltwater, spoons and spinners work well, as do smolt and fry imitation flies. Try egg-sucking leaches, egg imitations and even yarn flies for early summer fun in freshwaters as the salmon begin showing up.

In addition to Dollies, sea run cutthroat trout can also be found near stream mouths and along area shorelines. On the Juneau Road System, the regulations for Dolly Varden is 2 per day, 2 in possession, no size limit and for cutthroat it is 2 per day, 2 in possession, with a 14-inch minimum and 22-inch maximum length. Please check the regulation summary booklet for the watershed you are fishing for trout regulations. Similar techniques used for harvesting Dollies can be effective while fishing for sea-run cutthroat. Some popular fishing spots for Dollies and cutthroat include Montana Creek, Cowee Creek, Gastineau Channel, Auke Lake, and Windfall Creek (closed June and July) and Windfall Lake. Anglers should note that Peterson Creek is again open to fishing beginning July 1, since the spawning migration of steelhead will be over and steelhead will have already spawned and returned to the ocean. Peterson Creek, Salt Chuck and estuary are open July 1; Juneau Road System regulations apply, except that in the Salt Chuck the use of bait is prohibited and only unbaited, artificial flies and lures can be used year-round. Additional freshwater opportunities exist for trout and char that are partially or completely isolated from marine waters. On the Juneau road system, these systems include Peterson Creek (above the falls) and lake, Salmon Creek Reservoir (brook trout), Dredge Lakes off backloop road, and Fish Creek above Eaglecrest Road. Dolly Varden and trout caught in these systems are generally small (6” – 10”) and are mostly considered to be resident fish.

Lake Fishing near Juneau:

Please check the 2020 Sport Fishing Regulations Booklet for lakes that are open and the associated regulations. Remember, most lakes in the Juneau area are off limits to the use of bait so be sure to check the regulations.

Lakes where bait is NOT allowed:

Auke Lake

  • Bait prohibited, only unbaited artificial lures or flies may be used year-round
  • Closed to sockeye salmon and Dolly Varden fishing. All sockeye salmon and Dolly Varden caught must be released immediately
  • Cutthroat and rainbow trout limits (in combination): 2 daily, 2 in possession, 14-inch minimum and 22-inch maximum size limit

Mendenhall Lake

  • Bait prohibited, only unbaited artificial lures or flies may be used year-round
  • Closed to Dolly Varden fishing. All Dolly Varden caught must be released immediately
  • Cutthroat and rainbow trout limits (in combination): 2 daily, 2 in possession, 14-inch minimum and 22-inch maximum size limit

Morraine and Glacier lakes in the Dredge Lakes area

  • Bait prohibited, only unbaited artificial lures or flies may be used year-round
  • Dolly Varden: no size restrictions—2 daily, 2 in possession
  • Cutthroat and rainbow trout limits (in combination): 2 daily, 2 in possession, 14-inch minimum and 22-inch maximum size limit
  • Remainder of lakes in the Dredge Lakes Area (i.e.- Crystal, Dredge, Moose, etc.) have the same bag and possession limits above but bait is allowed Sept. 15 – Nov. 15

Windfall Lake (and all inlet streams)

  • Bait prohibited, only unbaited artificial lures or flies may be used year-round
  • Dolly Varden: no size restrictions—2 daily, 2 in possession
  • Cutthroat and rainbow trout limits (in combination): 2 daily, 2 in possession, 14-inch minimum and 22-inch maximum size limit

Lakes where bait IS allowed:

Twin Lakes

  • The use of bait is allowed year-round
  • Cutthroat and rainbow trout limits (in combination): 5 daily, 5 in possession, no size limit

Salmon Creek Reservoir

  • The use of bait is allowed year-round
  • Brook trout: no size limit—10 daily, 10 in possession

Peterson Lake

  • No restrictions on use of bait
  • Cutthroat and rainbow trout limits (in combination): 2 daily, 2 in possession, 14-inch minimum and 22-inch maximum size limit

Dungeness and Tanner Crab

Dungeness and Tanner crab are currently open for sport harvest. Sport Anglers can harvest 3 males (in combination) that are 6 ½” minimum carapace width for Dungeness and 5 ½” minimum carapace width for Tanners. No more than 4 crab pots OR 10 ring nets per person may be used. Sport crabbers should note that while fishing Dungeness under sport regulations, a maximum of 10 crab pots OR 20 ring nets can be fished per vessel, but for Tanner crabbing no more than 4 crab pots OR 10 ring nets per vessel may be used. Pots must have a minimum escape opening of 18 inches long laced with 30-thread cotton rot-twine; a 10”x6” panel secured with 30-thread cotton rot-twine on rigid pots, or pot lid tie-downs secured with 100% cotton twine no larger than 60-thread. Herring, chum and pink salmon and whitefish may be used as bait, as well as the head, tail, fins, closely trimmed skeleton, and viscera of legally taken sport fish for which there are bag limits, seasons or other regulations such as king and coho salmon. Please check the 2020 Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet page 8 and pages 33-36 for regulation details and restrictions specific to taking shellfish under sport regulations at: https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/fishregulations/PDFs/southeast/2019se_sfregs_shellfish.pdf

Shrimp

Sport and personal use shrimp fisheries in the Juneau area will remain closed until further notice. The closed area consists of all marine waters of Section 11-A north and west of a line extending from a regulatory marker near point Bishop to the Coast Guard marker and light on Point Arden, extending to a line at the latitude of Little Island light, and east of a line from Little Island light to Point Retreat light. The Sport and Personal Use News Release can be found at: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/EONR/index.cfm?ADFG=region.NR&Year=2019&NRID=2513

Outside of the 11-A area, sport and personal use fishing remains open. Sport and personal use shrimpers who have a valid sport fishing license must also have a free shrimp permit available on the ADF&G online store at: https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/Store/ or from any of the ADF&G offices. Participating anglers must sign their permit in ink to make it valid and have the permit in possession while taking shrimp in Southeast Alaska. Shrimp Limits and gear requirements for sport and personal use shrimp fishing cab be found on pages 33-36 of the 2020 Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary. Reporting of effort and harvest is required and must be submitted to the department even if you did not fish.

Clams

Every year, the Douglas office gets questions about harvesting clams in the Juneau area. ADF&G does not recommend harvesting clams from any waters in the Juneau area due to the possibly that the clams may contain Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins, especially during the summer months. Currently, no beaches in the Juneau area are monitored on a regular basis (i.e- ‘certified’) for PSP toxins. If you harvest, you do so at your own risk of PSP poisoning. Sporadic sampling has been conducted by the SouthEast Alaska Tribal Ocean Research (SEATOR) project http://www.seator.org/, but clams of any species and at any time during the year may still contain toxic levels of PSP. Please navigate to the following Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) web page for more information about PSP: https://dec.alaska.gov/eh/fss/shellfish/paralytic-shellfish-poisoning.

Interactive Fishing Location Maps

NEW! Check out the wefishak page on the ADF&G website for the new Juneau/Glacier Bay interactive map to discover popular fishing locations and information on species run timing, fishing gear selections, and boat and angler access tips thru the Sport Fish gofishak application.

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