Area Sport Fishing Reports
November 03, 2017
November 1, 2017, through April 30, 2018
Emergency Orders and Regulation Reminders
- Anglers are reminded to review Emergency Orders and News Releases for the Kodiak Area before heading on their next fishing trip.
- In January 2017, the Board of Fisheries adopted new regulations for sport fishing for the Kodiak Area:
- The bag limit for Rockfish in Chiniak and Marmot Bays has been reduced to 3 per day, 6 in possession, only 2 of which may be non-pelagics (4 in possession) and only 1 may be a yelloweye (2 in possession). See the 2017 Southwest Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for a detailed map of the affected area.
- Coho bag limits for the Kodiak Road Zone have changed. Coho bag limits in all freshwaters of the Kodiak Road Zone and saltwaters within one mile of the Kodiak Road Zone and Spruce Island have a limit of 2 coho per day, 2 in possession January 1 through September 15. From September 16 through December 31 the bag limit is 1 per day, 1 in possession. Bag limits for the remainder of Kodiak Island remain the same.
- REMINDER: The Kodiak Road Zone is restricted to only unbaited, artificial lures from November 1 through April 30 annually. The only exceptions are lakes that are currently stocked with rainbow trout. A list of these lakes can be found in the 2017 Southwest Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet.
- All weirs have been pulled for the year and only a few coho salmon remain as of early November. Some coho continue to come in through the end of the year but will be few and far between.
- Almost all road side streams have coho in them right now but most are nearing spawning or have spawned. Systems such as Pasagshak, Buskin, and the Olds may have a few bright fish to be found yet.
Steelhead, Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden
- Many anglers have given up for the year, but a few may be out right now looking for Steelhead. Steelhead are found in almost all Kodiak drainages with lakes, though may be few in numbers in many cases. Popular places closer to town include the Buskin, Afognak, and Saltery drainages. Remember that the Kodiak Road Zone is catch and release only for wild steelhead and rainbows.
- Popular remote steelhead fisheries are likely wrapping up for the year at the Karluk and to a smaller degree at the Ayakulik River. These are the largest steelhead runs on the island and generally peak in mid to late October with fish coming in through November.
- Steelhead overwinter in freshwaters and spawn in the spring, and as such are available to catch in many freshwater drainages throughout the winter. This is a particularly popular fishery on the Buskin River. Anglers should take note that most steelhead runs on the island are fairly small (less than 1,000 fish) and steelhead can be particularly vulnerable to the stress of being caught throughout the winter months. Please take care to release fish immediately upon landing them and use proper release techniques.
- Dolly Varden are still in most local rivers as of early November and can be found near schools of spawning silvers. The biggest returns of dollies will be found in Buskin, American, Olds, and Pasagshak rivers but can be caught in all local drainages. Fishing has been reported to be excellent right now, though they will be spawning soon and fishing can be slow during this time.
- After spawning, Dolly Varden will migrate back to a wintering area (Buskin Lake is one of the primary wintering areas near town) while they wait until spring to head to the ocean to feed. Dolly Varden can be caught throughout the winter months in these wintering areas but fishing can be unpredictable.
- Stocked lakes can be fished all year for rainbow trout. Late fall can often provide excellent rainbow trout fishing before the weather gets too cold. Look for high relief areas along the lake shores to catch schooling fish traveling in search of food. Rainbows can be readily caught through the ice as well, when conditions allow. Be sure to pay attention to ice conditions as many of the lower elevation lakes do not completely freeze in the winter.
- Harvest of rainbow trout on the Kodiak Road System is only allowed in currently stocked lakes, but many lakes have been stocked historically and rainbows can be caught in nearly all local lakes.
- Halibut can also be caught year round, though as the weather cools, fishing can be difficult. Halibut are generally caught in deeper waters but can be found in many of the same spots as the summer months at times. Popular places include Buoy 3, Outer Humpback Rock, and Cape Chiniak. Other popular places to fish halibut are Whale Pass and Williams Reef.
- Remember that fishing for halibut is closed for the month of January.
- King salmon can be caught year round in many saltwaters of Kodiak Island, though fishing is somewhat unpredictable. In some years kings are caught regularly; however, in some other years, fishing may be spotty.
- Winter king fishing areas include Sharatin Bay, Whale Pass, Williams Reef, Chiniak, and Kalsin Bay.
- Occasionally kings can be caught near the boat harbor, in between Woody and Long islands and at Buoy 4 throughout the winter months.
- King salmon bag limits are 2 per day of any size year round.
Other Saltwater Fishing
- Black rockfish can be caught almost year round at depths of 60 feet or less near kelp beds along rock pinnacles and other natural or man-made structures in most locations on Kodiak Island. Rockfish are also frequently caught from shore at locations such as the outer reaches of White Sand beach and the breakwater barrier shielding St. Paul Harbor.
- Lingcod can also be caught through the end of the year, remember that lingcod cannot be harvested from January 1 through June 30.