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Area Sport Fishing Reports

November 12, 2020

An excellent resource for planning a trip is the gofishak interactive map for Ketchikan which provides information on fishing locations, species run timing, fishing gear and angler access.

*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 while sport and personal use fishing and wearing a face covering when fishing and if you are needing fishing supplies from your local store as indicated in Health Alert 010.

Also note that new Interstate Travel Protocols have begun on August 11. For more information on travel restrictions please visit the State of Alaska Traveler Information page.

King Salmon

Although most salmon fishing has wrapped up for the year, anglers can still chase king salmon during the winter months as weather allows.

King salmon bag limits from October 1 to December 31:

Alaska Resident

  • Daily bag and possession limit is one king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length.
  • Resident anglers may use two rods while targeting king salmon; a resident angler using two rods may only retain salmon.


  • Daily bag and annual limit is one king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length and any king salmon harvested from January 1 to September 30, 2020 will apply to the one fish annual limit.
  • Anglers are reminded that when harvesting any species which has an annual limit they must immediately record the species, date and location on their sport fishing license or on a harvest record.


Halibut fishing is expected to be slow during the winter months. Fishing closes for halibut January 1 – January 31.


Rockfish can be caught throughout the winter months. A handout is available on the Fish and Game website to help with identifying common rockfish.

As of January 1, 2020 all sport fishing vessels are required to have at least one functional deep water release device (regardless of species targeted) and anglers will be required to use a deep water release device to release rockfish to the depth it was hooked or to a depth of at least 100 feet. 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.

Demersal Shelf Rockfish

The retention of demersal shelf rockfish is prohibited during 2020.

  • No retention of demersal shelf rockfish which are the following species: yelloweye, quillback, copper, canary, china, tiger and rosethorn rockfish.

Slope Rockfish

Some slope rockfish are common in marine waters surrounding Ketchikan. The most common species are: silvergrey, rougheye, shortraker and vermillion rockfish.

  • One per day; one in possession.

Pelagic Rockfish

  • Season: year round.
  • Five per day; ten in possession.

For additional information regarding rockfish identification and management please refer to the rockfish conservation page on the ADF&G Sport Fish website.

Freshwater Fishing

There will continue to be some freshwater fishing opportunities throughout the winter in the Ketchikan area. Anglers wanting to chase fall steelhead should try Ward Creek on the road system or if remote fishing is on your agenda try Fish Creek or the Naha drainage.

Depending on seasonal temperatures, most large low level lakes may remain ice free through winter and will offer opportunities to fish for cutthroat, rainbow trout and Dolly Varden. If you are up for the hike, anglers have been successful catching brook trout at the outlet of Perseverance Lake.

Be sure to check the 2020 Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations. The Ketchikan Area Freshwater Special Regulations can be found on pages 30-32. Regulations vary depending on the waters you plan to fish.

For further information, please call the Ketchikan Area Management Biologist: Kelly Reppert (907) 225-2859.


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