Area Sport Fishing Reports
Archived Sport Fishing Report
April 21, 2020
Check out the Haines/Skagway interactive map to discover popular fishing locations and information on fish run timing, fishing gear selections, and angler access tips thru the Sport Fish wefishak pages.
Spring Fishing Opportunities
Char and Trout
Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout fishing has been good in Chilkat River mainstem waters along the Haines Highway. Cutthroat trout and Dolly Varden are actively feeding on emerging chum salmon fry.
Fishing for Dolly Varden is also good on the Chilkoot River. Chilkoot Lake Road is not plowed, but the ice is melting quickly. Dolly Varden fishing can be very good on Chilkoot Lake right after the ice cover goes away.
Recent warm weather has made ice unsafe for ice fishing on Mosquito Lake and Chilkat Lake.
Regulations specific to Mosquito and Chilkat Lakes:
- Bait is not allowed.
- Cutthroat and rainbow trout: 2 fish bag and possession limit, with a slot length limit of 14-inch minimum to 22-inch maximum length required to keep a fish.
In the remainder of Haines-Skagway area waters, bait is allowed, and the cutthroat and rainbow trout slot length limit is 11-minimum to 22-inch maximum.
Regulations specific to Chilkoot Lake and Chilkoot River:
- Dolly Varden: 4 fish bag and possession limit, no size limit.
In the remainder of Haines-Skagway area waters, the Dolly Varden bag and possession limit is 10 fish.
Pot fishing for shrimp and Dungeness crab is open year-round in the Haines and Skagway area salt water. With a sport fishing license, non-Alaska residents catch shellfish with the following bag & possession limits:
- Dungeness crab - 3 legal size males.
- Shrimp - 3 quarts or pounds.
Alaska residents fish under subsistence or personal use regulations with more liberal bag limits.
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, 2020.
Due to declining abundance of some long-lived species of rockfish, regulations to conserve rockfish are in place for 2020:
- Nonpelagic demersal shelf rockfish (including yelloweye): Retention is prohibited.
- Nonpelagic slope rockfish: daily bag limit and possession limit is one slope rockfish.
- Pelagic rockfish: daily bag limit and possession limit is five pelagic rockfish.
- All vessels must have at least one functional deepwater release mechanism on board and readily available for use when sport fishing activities are taking place. Persons sport fishing in marine waters when releasing rockfish (pelagic or nonpelagic), must use a deepwater release mechanism to return the fish to the depth it was hooked or to a depth of at least 100 feet.
- From April 1 through December 31, in the Haines and Skagway area (Lynn Canal north of the latitude of Sherman Rock), the retention of king salmon is prohibited; any king salmon caught must be released immediately and returned to the water unharmed.
- From April 1 through July 15, the waters of Chilkat Inlet, north of Seduction Point, are closed to king salmon sport fishing.
The Chilkat River king salmon population has been critically low since 2012. The 2020 king salmon sport fishing restrictions will be the same as those in effect in 2017 through 2019.
Conservation measures in sport, commercial, and subsistence fisheries were successful in delivering a healthy Chilkat River king salmon escapement to the spawning grounds. ADF&G is continuing conservation measures to allow the Chilkat River king salmon stock to rebuild.
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 sport fishing license for the same price that Alaska residents pay. However, Yukoners are not Alaska residents, so Yukoners must comply with the non-resident regulations such as 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.