Area Sport Fishing Reports
August 13, 2019
Check out the Haines/Skagway interactive map to discover popular fishing locations and information on species run timing, fishing gear selections, and boat and angler access tips thru the Sport Fish wefishak pages.
The Chilkoot River weir averaged 1,000 sockeye salmon upstream per day over the last week, bringing the season total to 123,000 fish, which surpasses the escapement goal range of 38,000 to 86,000 sockeye salmon. To take advantage of this surplus, the sport fishing limits in the Chilkoot River and Chilkoot Lake are 12 sockeye salmon per day and 12 in possession. The sockeye run should continue to be strong through mid-August.
King salmon in Pullen Creek, downtown Skagway
King salmon that were released as hatchery-raised smolts in 2015 are returning as adults to Pullen Creek in Skagway. The fresh waters of Pullen Creek, including Pullen Pond, are open to king salmon sport fishing now through September 14. In Pullen Creek, the bag and possession limit for all anglers (Alaska residents and nonresidents) is four king salmon of any size, and king salmon harvested in this area do not count toward the nonresident annual limit.
Anglers sport fishing for king salmon are required to purchase a 2019 king salmon stamp in addition to a 2019 sport fishing license.
After an early surge through the Chilkoot River weir and the Chilkat River fish wheels, pink salmon counts have tapered off. Some pink salmon are being caught in near-shore salt waters and in the Chilkoot River.
Very few pink salmon have shown up in Pullen Creek so far this year.
Halibut have followed the salmon runs up Lynn Canal, and anglers are having some success in the Haines area.
Char and trout fishing opportunities
Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout fishing is good in clear water streams and lakes, such as Mosquito Lake and Chilkat Lake.
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.
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.
Pot fishing for shrimp and Dungeness crab is open year-round in the Haines and Skagway area salt water. Non-Alaska residents catch shellfish with a sport fishing license with the following bag & possession limits:
- Dungeness crab - 3 legal size males.
- Shrimp - 3 quarts or pounds.
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 permit must be returned to ADF&G, or the harvest information must be reported online, by December 31, 2019.
The Chilkat River king salmon population has been critically low for 7 years, so the following conservation measures are in effect in the Haines/Skagway area:
- King salmon fishing is closed in Chilkat Inlet now through June 30.
- The retention of king salmon is prohibited in all waters of Lynn Canal north of Sherman Rock now through December 31. Any king salmon caught must be released immediately and returned to the water unharmed.
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.