Area Sport Fishing Reports

Archived Sport Fishing Report

February 17, 2021

* Please do your part to slow the spread of Covid-19 by practicing social distancing while sport and personal use fishing, and wearing a face-covering when social distancing is not possible.

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.

ADF&G Online Fishing Forum: Ice Fishing 101 on YouTube.

Watch an ADF&G information session about ice fishing basics: ice safety, ice fishing gear, how to find an appropriate place to fish, which species, which tackle, and how to find fishing regulations.

Winter Fishing Opportunities

Char and Trout

Fishing for Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout can be good near mainstem Chilkat River chum salmon spawning areas when chum fry start emerging from the gravel.

Ice fishing season is on at Chilkat Lake and Mosquito Lake, where the ice is up to 3 feet thick.

Regulations specific to Chilkat and Mosquito Lake:

  • Bait is not allowed.
  • Cutthroat and rainbow trout: 2 fish bag and possession limit, with a slot limit of 14-inch minimum to 22-inch maximum length required to keep a fish.

In the remainder of the Haines-Skagway area fresh and salt waters, bait is allowed, and the cutthroat and rainbow trout slot length limit are 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 saltwater. 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, 2021.

Chilkoot Lake Road

Chilkoot Lake road is open to the public, but the road is not maintained in the winter. The road reconstruction project will resume in mid-April 2021, with paving and sidewalks scheduled for completion by late May 2021. For more details, see the Chilkoot Lake Road Corridor Improvement project website.

Post Season Salmon Run Assessments

King Salmon

Conservative regulations in sport, commercial, and subsistence fisheries have been successful in delivering healthy Chilkat River king salmon escapements to the spawning grounds. The escapement was estimated at 3,200 large kings in year 2020, and 2,000 large kings in year 2019. The Chilkat River king salmon biological escapement goal range is 1,750 to 3,500 large kings. Large kings are defined as age-5 and older, and the large portion of each year's escapement includes nearly all of the mature females with eggs. ADF&G will continue conservation measures in 2021 to allow the stock to rebuild.

  • Now through March 31 - The bag & possession limit is 1 king salmon 28 inches or greater in length, and 2 rods per angler are allowed throughout Southeast Alaska.
  • 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 will be prohibited; any king salmon caught must be released immediately and returned to the water unharmed.

Coho Salmon

ADF&G foot surveys of Chilkat River coho salmon spawning areas showed a below-average coho salmon run, with escapement near the lower end of the goal range.

Sockeye salmon

The final 2020 Chilkat Lake weir sockeye salmon count was 55,000 fish, which fell short of the Chilkat Lake escapement goal (70,000 to 15,000 fish).

The final 2020 Chilkoot River sockeye salmon count through the weir was 60,000 fish, which is in the middle of the goal range for Chilkoot River watershed.

Pink salmon

Pink salmon counts in Chilkoot River were strong in late August, and overall close to average for the season.

Pink salmon were very scarce in the Chilkat River all season.

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.

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