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Area Sport Fishing Reports
Juneau

April 12, 2021

Spring Fishing Opportunities in the Juneau Area

Contrary to the cold temperatures during the past few weeks, spring is just around the corner and it's time to get the fishing gear ready for the upcoming spring and summer seasons. Spring Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout fishing in the estuaries is just beginning, steelhead can be caught and released in area streams (other than Peterson Creek) and crabbing for Dungies and Tanner crab is still good. Although king salmon fishing is closed in the immediate Juneau area, with the return of better spring weather, the more ambitious can venture out past Lemesurier Island to try for king salmon under regionwide regulations. Just be sure to file a float plan with someone before you leave and be prepared to play cribbage in a safe anchorage if you have to wait for the weather to improve. The 2021 spring king salmon Advisory Announcement can be found here and is provided below.

Southeast Regionwide King Salmon Sport Fishing Regulations

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, in ink, on the back of their sport fishing license, or on a nontransferable harvest record.

All Anglers:

  • From October 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021, a sport angler may use two rods when fishing for king salmon, a person using two rods under this regulation may only retain salmon.

Marine waters near Juneau except for Seymour Canal and upper Taku Inlet

(The northern portion of District 9, District 10, Sections 11-A, 11-B, 11-C, District 12, Portion of Section 13-C southeast of a line between Nismeni Pt. and a point on the Chichagof Island shoreline at 57°35.59' N. lat., 135°22.33' W. long., Sections 14-B and 14-C, and District 15 south of the latitude of Sherman Rock)

April 1 - June 14:

The RETENTION of king salmon is PROHIBITED, any king salmon caught must be released immediately.

June 15 - December 31:

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;
  • Immediately upon landing and retaining a king salmon a nonresident must enter the species, date, and location, in ink, on the back of their sport fishing license, or on a nontransferable harvest record.

In the waters adjacent to the Taku River

(upper Taku Inlet north of a line from Point Bishop to Point Greely),

April 1 through June 30, 2021:

All Anglers:

  • NO RETENTION of king salmon. All king salmon caught must be released immediately.

In the waters adjacent to the King Salmon River

(Section 11-D, Seymour Canal north of 57° 37' N. latitude),

April 1 through June 30, 2021:

All anglers:

  • CLOSED to king salmon fishing, all anglers may not target or retain king salmon.

July 1 - December 31:

Alaska resident:

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

Nonresidents:

  • The bag and possession limit is ONE king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length;
  • The 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, in ink, on the back of their sport fishing license, or on a nontransferable harvest record.

A separate news release will be issued at a later date announcing king salmon regulations for the Designated Sport Terminal Harvest Areas where Alaska hatchery-produced king salmon are expected to return.

Other Spring Fishing Opportunities

Fish Creek and Fish Creek Pond

Anglers are reminded that from June 1-August 31, the daily bag and possession limit for king salmon in the freshwaters of Fish Creek and Fish Creek Pond is 4 fish, any size and any king salmon harvested by non-residents do not count toward their annual limit. Please note that within Fish Creek Pond, anglers may use bait, may snag, and may use weighted hooks, lures, and treble hooks with a gap greater than ½ inch between the point and shank. However, anglers may NOT use bait, or snag, or use the aforementioned large treble hooks in Fish Creek itself. The marine waters at the mouth of Fish Creek fall under the THA regulations that will be released later this spring, and snagging is allowed in salt waters.

Dolly Varden/cutthroat trout fishing

In the next few weeks to a month, once we are past this cold spell, anadromous Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout will begin to move into saltwater and will congregate at the mouths of local creeks such as Salmon Creek, Sheep Creek, and Cowee Creek to feed on emigrating salmon fry and smolts. Using small smolt imitation fly patterns or small spinners and spoons is the best way to catch these fish. There will also be some fish that do not leave their "overwintering" sites and head for the ocean. Known as "residents", these fish stay in their home lake, pond, or stream the entire year. While these fish may move around in the system to take advantage of food or environmental conditions, they will be present for your fishing pleasure all year.

In all drainages crossed by the Juneau road system, as well as the saltwater adjacent to the Juneau road system to a line ¼ mile offshore, cutthroat and rainbow trout bag limits (in combination) are 2 daily, 2 in possession with a 14-inch minimum and 22-inch maximum size limit. Dolly Varden limits are 2 daily, 2 in possession, no size limit. Anglers should check the 2021 Southeast Alaska Sportfish Regulation Summary for special regulations specific to the stream or lake they intend to fish.

Steelhead Trout fishing

Although run timing may be delayed a bit due to cold temperatures this spring, steelhead adults will soon begin returned to their natal streams to spawn. In Southeast Alaska, most streams that contain steelhead have small annual returns (in the hundreds) and thus can be vulnerable to over-fishing. Retention of steelhead in the Juneau area is prohibited. Any steelhead caught in a drainage crossed by the Juneau road system must be released immediately. Current regionwide regulations elsewhere, away from the road system, prohibit any steelhead under 36" from being harvested and require that a harvest record be completed in ink immediately upon landing a steelhead that is to be harvested. Keep in mind that all fish should be treated with great care regardless of size to ensure the best chances for survival upon release. Please keep fish in the water while releasing.

Anglers should note that all sport fishing in Peterson Creek from the falls to the intertidal waters within a 200-yard radius of the creek mouth at saltwater is CLOSED April 1-June 30 to protect spawning steelhead. The Advisory Announcement can be found here. For the last 6 years, steelhead snorkel survey index counts conducted each spring in Peterson Creek have been below the pre-2015 average. A precautionary approach is being taken to conservatively manage the Peterson Creek steelhead stock during this period of very low escapements.

Shellfish harvesting

Except for red and blue king crab, other shellfish are currently available to harvest. Personal use red and blue king crab fishing is presently closed (beginning April 1), but will reopen July 1.

King Crab

Personal use king crab fishing is only open to Alaska residents. A sport fishing license and a Southeast Alaska Regional Personal Use King Crab Permit are required. These are available at the ADF&G online store. Please check for Personal Use Emergency Orders, legal-size and pot configurations, and restrictions online. Section 11-A is currently CLOSED to Alaska resident PU king crab fishing. Stay tuned for the Juneau area PU announcement later this year using the link above. Harvest must be reported online. Please check the 2021 Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet pages 33-36 for regulations specific to shellfish.

Dungeness and Tanner Crab

For Alaska residents in the Juneau area, licensed anglers can keep 20 Dungeness males, 6.5" minimum width. While taking Dungeness crab, 5 pots or 10 rings per person may be used, with a max of 10 pots or 20 rings per vessel. While taking Tanner crab, no more than 4 pots or 10 rings per vessel may be used. In total, no more than 5 pots per person and 10 pots per vessel may be used bod taking shellfish regardless of pot type.

For non-residents in the Juneau area, licensed anglers can keep 3 male Tanner and Dungeness crab (in combination). Tanner males need to be 5.5" minimum width and Dungeness males need to be 6.5" minimum width.

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. Check the Sport and Personal Use News Release.

Outside of the 11-A area, sport and personal use fishing remain 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. 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 2021 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 fall/winter season, 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 possibility that the clams may contain Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins. 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, 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.

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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