Area Sport Fishing Reports
March 15, 2023
As days get longer and you begin preparing gear for the season, don’t forget to purchase your 2023 fishing license. Charter operators and business owners, register online or in person for your 2023 elogbook.
Salmon will move inshore later in the season as the weather warms, with kings picking up first around May. Resident anglers may use two rods through March 31, but may only retain salmon.
These fish will begin to show up in greater numbers as weather warms and other fisheries move more inshore.
The fishing season will open May 16 and will run through November.
Demersal Shelf Rockfish (DSR)
In 2022, Demersal Shelf Rockfish (DSR) was opened to provide opportunity for residents. Resident anglers are allowed one DSR rockfish daily, two in possession, EXCLUDING YELLOWEYE. DSR are a subset of nonpelagic rockfish including: Yelloweye, Quillback, China, Tiger, Rosethorn, Copper, and Canary.
All anglers are allowed one daily, two in possession. The most common slope rockfish include: Redbanded, Rougheye, Silvergray, Shortraker, and Vermilion.
Fishing for rockfish is good year-round. Try fishing around underwater structure near kelp beds with a dart or jig. These rockfish make for excellent table fare in the winter when salmon are harder to come by.
Anglers are allowed 5 daily, 10 in possession, with the exception of CSEO (Sitka Area), where nonresidents are allowed 3 daily, 6 in possession. See the Sitka Area Special Exceptions for a map of CSEO on page 23 of the Southeast regulation summary.
The department has developed a guide to assist anglers in identifying species groupings.
Be sure to check your local fishing regulations to be aware of harvest limits, size requirements and necessary permits 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 river where crabs congregate to feed. If fishing with friends, be sure to keep each angler’s catch separate to avoid pooling bag limits.
Dolly Varden and Rainbow/Cutthroat trout
As juvenile salmon emigrate from their streams in spring, Dolly Varden will congregate at stream mouths for an easy meal. These fish can also be targeted year-round in freshwaters. Try fishing around structures in the stream but be careful not to lose your lure. These fish make for a fun fight and don’t require a boat to get good access.
There are several lakes on the Sitka Road System that contain rainbow, cutthroat and brook trout, as well as grayling and Dolly Varden.
Check out 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!
For further information, please feel free to contact the Sitka area sportfish management staff at (907) 747-5355.