Area Sport Fishing Reports
April 08, 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.
Other Spring Fishing Opportunities
Dolly Varden/cutthroat trout fishing
Anadromous Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout will soon begin 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
Most streams in Southeast support small annual returns (in the hundreds) of steelhead and thus can be vulnerable to over-fishing. Anglers are reminded that retention of steelhead in the Juneau area roadsystem freshwaters is prohibited. All steelhead caught must be released immediately.
Typically steelhead anglers begin fishing in late April through May. Often, entire days can be spent searching for a few quality “looks” at a fish, so don’t be discouraged if it takes time, because the fight of a fresh steelhead will make it all worthwhile. There are a number of streams on the Juneau road system that contain small runs of steelhead that are easily fishable. Keep in mind that all fish should be treated with great care regardless of size to ensure the best chances for survival upon release.
With the low steelhead production in Peterson Creek during the last few years, the department is looking at taking management action, potentially closing fishing below the falls through the intertidal, to help protect the spawners that do return in the spring. Most other area streams on the Juneau road system such as Cowee, Montana and Fish creeks also produce a few steelhead. Steelhead prefer deeper water associated with cover, often becoming more active at dawn and dusk. Go mid-week, take your time and enjoy the solitude. You may be rewarded by a hook-up and explosive fight of a fresh steelie. 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.