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Area Sport Fishing Reports
Juneau

September 10, 2021

Juneau Area Fall Fishing

Summer salmon & halibut fishing season is winding down but there are still great fishing opportunities available through September and October! After this weekend, ADF&G Marine Creel personnel are now done with the annual sampling of marine boat fishers around the Juneau area. Thanks to everyone who participated in the Marine Harvest studies surveys this year. We realize that the interviews and sampling can sometimes seem redundant, but the information that anglers provided allowed ADF&G to estimate harvests and continue to manage sustainably.

This past week, anglers reported catches of few king salmon (Chinook) from near Horse and Colt islands and out in Funter Bay. No Pink (Humpy) or Chum (Dog) salmon were reported as caught or harvested from boats in the Juneau marine waters. However, good harvests of Coho (Silver) salmon were reported, with the best catches reported from Auke Bay/Fritz Cove, the backside of Douglas, Shelter Island, Pt Retreat, and Funter Bay. Shore anglers are having good luck catching cohos at Sheep Creek, Gastineau Channel, and in front of the Hatchery. A few halibut and pelagic/slope rockfish are still being caught around the area and Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout are also available in most of the freshwaters of the Juneau road system.

Anglers please note the following: Beginning September 1, nonresident anglers will have a bag, possession and total harvest limit of ONE king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length, and any king salmon harvested by the nonresident from January 1 to present applies toward that one fish total harvest limit. For example, this means that if a nonresident angler harvested 1 king salmon by September 1, he/she cannot harvest any additional king salmon for the rest of the year. Nonresidents must record their harvest on a harvest record card or on the back of their fishing license.

For Alaska residents, in areas where the retention of king salmon was prohibited in the spring, anglers have a bag and possession limit of TWO king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length. Resident anglers fishing to the west of the eastern shore of Lemesurier Island and west of Nismeni Pt in Hoonah Sound on the outer coast, may only keep ONE king salmon per day and in possession. Alaska resident anglers do not have annual limits. These management measures are directed by the Southeast Alaska King Salmon Management Plan and are in place to meet requirements of the Pacific Salmon Treaty such that king salmon are managed conservatively for a total sport king salmon Pacific Salmon Treaty harvest of 37,120 fish.

King Salmon Sport Fishing near Juneau

Beginning September 1, the hatchery areas near Juneau revert to the revised regulations published in the July 26 Sport Fish Advisory Announcement and are shown below:

Marine waters near Juneau (see map 1 below)

(The northern portion of District 9, District 10, Sections 11-A, 11-B, 11-C, 11-D, 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)

Alaska resident:

  • The resident bag and possession limit is TWO king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length, residents do not have a total harvest limit;
  • From October 1, 2021, through March 31, 2022, a sport angler may use two rods when fishing for king salmon, a person using two rods under this regulation may only retain salmon.

Nonresident:

September 1 - December 31

  • Nonresident bag and possession limit is ONE king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length;
  • A nonresident's total harvest limit is ONE king salmon 28 inches or greater in length, and any king salmon harvested by the nonresident from January 1 through July 31 will apply toward the one fish total harvest limit;
  • Immediately upon landing and retaining a king salmon a nonresident must enter the species, date, and location on the back of their sport fishing license or on a nontransferable harvest record. See map 1 below.

Map 1. Northern Southeast Alaska Sportfishing regulations for king salmon

Marine waters west of Lemesurier Is. and west of Nismeni Pt. in Hoonah Sound

Alaska resident:

  • The resident bag and possession limit is ONE king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length, residents do not have a total harvest limit;
  • From October 1, 2021, through March 31, 2022, a sport angler may use two rods when fishing for king salmon, a person using two rods under this regulation may only retain salmon.

Nonresident:

September 1 - December 31

  • Nonresident bag and possession limit is ONE king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length;
  • A nonresident's total harvest limit is ONE king salmon 28 inches or greater in length, and any king salmon harvested by the nonresident from January 1 through July 31 will apply toward the one fish total harvest limit;
  • Immediately upon landing and retaining a king salmon a nonresident must enter the species, date, and location on the back of their sport fishing license or on a nontransferable harvest record. See map below.

Freshwaters near Juneau

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 non-residents in these drainages do not count toward their annual limit. Please consult the Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary Booklet for these regulations.

Sport Fishing for Bottomfish around the Juneau Area

A few Halibut are still being reported to ADF&G Creel samplers from Horse/Colt islands, the Breadline, Pt. Couverden, Homeshore, and Spasski/Pt Sophia. A few Dusky rockfish, Widows, and Silvergrey were reported as harvested this past week. 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 pages 38-39 of the 2021 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 Yelloweye, Quillback, Copper, China, Canary, Tiger, or Rosethorn rockfishes. 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, Silvergray, and Vermillion. Visit our page for more information on fish identification.

Anglers should also note that a working Deepwater Release Device is required to be on board 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 on our page.

Juneau Roadside Fisheries

Juneau roadside anglers are reporting catches of Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout on the roadside including out at Dupont and the estuary of Cowee Creek. Resident fish are still available in area lakes and streams.

Dolly Varden/cutthroat trout fishing

Most anadromous Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout are now back in freshwaters following the pink and chum salmon upstream. There will also be some fish that do not leave their "overwintering" sites. 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. Anglers have reported catching a few hatchery-released rainbows in the Dredge Lakes area in Glacier, Moraine, and Crystal lakes. Note that only unbaited, artificial lures or flies may be used year-round in Dredge Lakes. The use of bait is prohibited.

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.

Lake Fishing near Juneau:

Please check the 2021 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

Moraine 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
  • The remainder of lakes in the Dredge Lakes Area (i.e.- Crystal, Dredge, Moose, etc.) have the same bag and possession limits above but the 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 the use of bait
  • Cutthroat and rainbow trout limits (in combination): 2 daily, 2 in possession, 14-inch minimum, and 22-inch maximum size limit

Juneau Marine Shellfish Fisheries

Shellfish harvesting

Red and blue king crab, Tanner crab, Dungeness crab, other shellfish are currently available to harvest. Personal use red and blue king crab fishing reopened July 1, as did sport and personal use Tanner crab. Note that Section 11-A personal use king crab fishery has already occurred. Personal Use regulations can be found at Commercial Fishing Regulation Announcements and News Releases Search Results, Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

King Crab

Personal use king crab fishing outside of Section 11-A 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. Note that only male king crabs that are 7" minimum carapace width may be kept. Section 11-A is currently CLOSED to Alaska resident PU king crab fishing. 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

Fishing for shellfish is open the entire year, except that Tanner crab fishing is CLOSED June 16 through June 30. Beginning July 1, harvested Tanner males need to be 5.5" minimum width, and females cannot be kept. When the season opens, no more than 4 pots or 10 rings per vessel may be used to take Tanner crab.

Dungeness crab can be taken the entire year, but Dungeness males need to be 6.5" minimum carapace width. For Alaska residents in the Juneau area, licensed anglers can keep 20 Dungeness males, 6.5" minimum width. For non-residents in the Juneau area, licensed anglers can keep 3 male Tanner and Dungeness crab (in combination). 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.

In total, no more than 5 pots per person and 10 pots per vessel may be used for taking shellfish regardless of pot type.

Sport and personal use regulations, limits, and gear requirements for shellfish can be found on pages 33-36 of the 2021 Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary. Permits are not needed to harvest Tanner and Dungeness crab, just your sport fishing license.

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 shrimp 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 can 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 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 gofishak interactive map to discover popular fishing locations and information on species run timing, fishing gear selections, and boat and angler access tips!

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