Area Sport Fishing Reports
Archived Sport Fishing Report
May 24, 2019
Marine Boat Fishing Report
King salmon retention is CLOSED in the marine waters near Juneau
In the waters of the northern portion of District 9, District 10, Sections 11-A, 11-B and 11-C, District 12, southeast portion of Section 13-C, Sections 14-B and 14-C, and District 15 south of the latitude of Sherman Rock:
- From April 1, 2019 through June 14, 2019,
- Retention of king salmon is prohibited. Any king salmon must be released immediately.
The 2019 preseason forecast for the total terminal run indicates that the Taku River escapement goal is unlikely to be met unless harvests of Taku River king salmon are reduced. Even with elimination of harvest the forecast indicates that the lower bound of the escapement goal may not be achieved. Therefore, a non-retention period is warranted in the time and area where these migrating fish are present. In addition, the waters of Section 11-D (Seymour Canal) are closed to sport fishing for king salmon April 1 through June 30, to protect king salmon returning to the King Salmon River at the head of the bay.
Please note that additional restrictions are implemented in the marine waters north of Juneau and the marine waters south of Juneau. Please see the News Release issued for Haines for further restrictions to District 15. Also, please see the News Release issued for the Petersburg area for further restrictions in Districts 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
King salmon retention is allowed in the marine waters of the outer coast of SE Alaska. Please see news release issued on April 1, 2019.
Halibut & Rockfish
A few halibut have been reported caught in the last 2 weeks, mostly from Cross Sound and Deer Harbor, but a few also from the reefs north of Juneau. Fishing for halibut usually picks up in June and continues to be productive through October. So with king salmon retention currently closed it may be worth a shot to try for some early season halibut. Halibut in the marine waters around Juneau tend to be pretty deep this time of year so try and find a nice hump structure in the 150 foot to 300 foot range. Rockfish catches, mostly of Black rockfish, Duskies, and Quillbacks have also been reported by area anglers. A few Yelloweye and Rougheye, from Cross Sound and Benjamin Island, respectively, have also been caught. Creel samplers from the Department are now sampling fish at the Juneau harbors and boat launches. They are just getting started for the season. As always, thank you to all anglers who allow our samplers to check your fish and record biological data. It really helps manage the fisheries so it is vital to have our samplers collecting this information from local anglers.
Other Spring Fishing Opportunities
Dolly Varden/cutthroat trout fishing
Anadromous Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout have begun 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 these emigrating salmon 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 “over wintering” 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 2019 Southeast Alaska Sportfish Regulation Summary for special regulations specific to the stream or lake they intend to fish.
Steelhead trout fishing
Anglers are reminded that retention of steelhead in the Juneau area roadsystem freshwaters is prohibited. All steelhead caught must be released immediately. With the low steelhead production in Peterson Creek during the last few years, the department has closed fishing below the falls through the intertidal, to help protect the spawners that do return in the spring.
Steelhead fishing is about over for the area, with increasing water temperatures and completion of the spring spawn. But there may still be some kelts around, so don’t be discouraged if it takes time. There are a number of streams on the Juneau road system that contain small runs of steelhead that are easily fishable, including Cowee, Montana and Fish creeks. Steelhead prefer deeper water associated with cover, often becoming more active at dawn and dusk. Streamer flies made of Marabou with a touch of bright color can be effective. Attractor beads when used with a fly, lure, or bare hook must be either fixed within 2 inches of the fly, lure or hook, or be free sliding on the line or leader, by regulation. Keep in mind that all fish should be treated with great care regardless of size to ensure the best chances for survival upon release.