Area Sport Fishing Reports
Archived Sport Fishing Report
June 04, 2021
An excellent resource for planning a trip to Sitka is the gofishak interactive map which provides information on fishing locations, species run timing, fishing gear, and angler access. Be sure to always check for any updates to regulations before you start your fishing trip.
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 and wearing a face covering while sport fishing and when buying fishing supplies from your local store as indicated in Health Alert 012.
For more information on travel restrictions please visit the State of Alaska Traveler Information page.
The Sitka Salmon Derby has started off with a bang! According to the Sitka Sportsman’s Association, 102 king salmon were turned in last weekend and the current first-place fish is 35.8 lbs. For additional information about participating in the Derby, see any of our local sporting goods stores. Don’t miss out on the fun!
Be sure to mark your calendar for June 12th for Kids Fishing Day. With help from the Coast Guard, the Department stocked Swan Lake with 300 locally sourced rainbow trout. These fish make for a great fight and even better memories. Bring the whole family and enjoy a relaxing day out fishing put on by the Department of Fish and Game, US Forest Service, and the Sitka Rotary Club.
Beginning in 2021, all charter operators who operate in saltwater will be required to submit their data through the Elogbook program. Paper logbook pages will not be accepted.
From April 26 through September 12, 2021, it is prohibited to fillet or de-head Lingcod, Slope Rockfish, and King and Coho salmon at sea. This does not prohibit gutting or gilling these fish. These fish may be processed onboard a vessel once it is tied up at a docking facility where the fish will be offloaded.
Current Chinook Salmon regulations are:
- The daily bag and possession limit for resident anglers is 3 fish, 28 inches or greater.
- The daily bag limit for nonresident anglers is one fish with an annual limit of four fish, 28 inches or greater.
King season has started off well with anglers reporting success at Vitskari rocks and Biorka Island, as well as off the Cape and outside of Kruzof Island. There has also been a decent bite close to town just parallel to Halibut Point Road. Try trolling with whole herring or brightly colored hoochies. You can also try mooching with cut plug herring and a mooching sinker and leader. Please be aware that retention of king salmon is prohibited from Nismeni Point east to and including the Chatham Straight side of Baranof Island, South to Patterson Point.
The season for lingcod began May 16th and will run through November 30th. Retention is prohibited throughout the remainder of the year to protect spawning lingcod. The size limit for lingcod for nonresidents has increased to 30-40 inches or over 55 inches, with an annual limit of two fish, one in the 30-40 inch class and one above 55 inches. Residents do not have a size limit and their bag limit is one lingcod daily, with a possession limit of two lingcod. Try fishing around rock piles and thump the bottom with a leadhead jig to draw in one of these voracious predators.
In 2021 Demersal Shelf Rockfish (DSR) fishing remains closed. DSR is a subset of nonpelagic rockfish including Yelloweye, Quillback, China, Tiger, Rosethorn, Copper, and Canary.
Anglers are allowed one slope rockfish daily, with 1 in possession. The most common slope rockfish include Redbanded, Rougheye, Silvergray, Shortraker, and Vermilion.
Pelagic rockfish is open year-round. Anglers are allowed 5 daily, 10 in possession, with the exception of CSEO (Sitka Area), where non-residents are allowed 3 daily, 6 in possession. See the Sitka Area Special Exceptions for a map of CSEO on page 24 of the Southeast regulation summary.
The department has developed a guide to assist anglers in identifying species groupings.
As of 2020, anglers are required to use a rockfish release device to return rockfish that are not harvested to the depth of capture or 100 feet, whichever is shallower. Please see the “Southeast Alaska Sport Fish Regulation Summary” or visit your local ADF&G office to see examples of rockfish release devices and learn about their use.
Be sure to check your local fishing regulations to be aware of harvest limits and size requirements for shellfish. Also, be aware that certain types of shellfish in Southeast Alaska have been known to cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) which can be fatal.
For Dungeness crab, try placing pots in bays and around the mouths of the river where crabs congregate to feed. If fishing with friends, be sure to keep each angler’s catch separate to avoid pooling bag limits. Double-check that your gear meets legal requirements where escape mechanisms, ring sizes, and buoy requirements are concerned. See the shellfish section of the Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing regulation Summary or check out this video: Southeast Pot Regulations
Anglers shrimp fishing are required to obtain a free permit for sport, personal use, and subsistence shrimp harvest for each calendar year. 2021 Southeast Shrimp Permits are available online at the ADF&G store or at your local ADF&G office. The shrimp harvest, location, and a number of pots pulled must be recorded each day, and the permit must be returned to ADF&G or reported online at the end of the year. Sport shrimping is closed in Sitka Sound, but this generally only affects nonresidents as most resident anglers harvest shrimp under the more liberal personal use regulations. Please also be aware of the closure boundary in Hoonah Sound.
Dolly Varden and Rainbow/Cutthroat Trout
Dollys and rainbow/cutthroat trout can be targeted year-round in freshwaters. There are several streams and lakes on the Sitka Road System that contain rainbow, cutthroat, and brook trout, as well as grayling and Dolly Varden. See the interactive map for more details.
For further information, please feel free to contact the Sitka area sportfish management staff at (907) 747-5355.