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Area Sport Fishing Reports
June 22, 2017
Week of June 23 to June 29
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. The following Emergency Orders are currently in effect for the following areas:
- Effective June 1, in the Ayakulik River drainage, king salmon sport fishing is restricted to catch and release. All king salmon caught must be released without being removed from the water. In addition, bait is not allowed for any sport fishing and only single hooks on artificial lures may be used.
- Effective June 1, in the Karluk River drainage, including Karluk Lagoon, sport fishing for king salmon is closed. In addition, the use of bait is prohibited for all sport fishing downstream of Karluk Lake.
- Effective June 1, Monashka Creek and Bay are closed to sport fishing for king salmon. In addition, the use of bait is prohibited in Monashka Creek.
- Effective June 7, the Buskin River sockeye salmon bag limit has been increased to five per day.
- Effective June 7, the Karluk River sockeye salmon bag limit has been increased to ten per day.
- In January 2017, the Board of Fisheries adopted new regulations for sportfishing for the Kodiak Area:
- The bag limit for Rockfish in Chiniak and Marmot Bays has been reduced to three per day, six in possession, only two of which may be non-pelagics (four in possession) and only one may be a yelloweye (two 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 1 mile of the Kodiak Road Zone and Spruce Island have a limit of two coho per day, two in possession January 1 through September 15. From September 16 through December 31, the bag limit is one per day, one in possession. Bag limits for the remainder of Kodiak Island remain the same.
- Department of Fish and Game counting weirs on the Buskin, Afognak (Litnik), Dog Salmon, Karluk and Ayakulik have been installed are counting sockeye salmon. King salmon returns are also counted at Karluk and Ayakulik weirs. Respective escapement goals for these two runs are 3,000 – 6,000 and 4,800-8,400 fish. The current Buskin River sockeye salmon escapement goal is 5,000-8,000 fish.
- Sockeye runs are still going strong for most of the island. About 6,000 sockeye have been counted at the Buskin Weir and more than 14,000 have been counted at Litnik.
- Typically both of these runs are more than 50% complete by now. The bag limit is 5 per day at both drainages.
- Sockeye runs at Pasagshak and Saltery typically peak in mid-July and are just starting right now. Weirs have been installed on both drainages but have not counted many fish to date. Reports from the rivers, however, indicate early and strong runs in both locations.
- Sockeye runs at the Karluk and Ayakulik are strong as well, the bag limit for Karluk Sockeye has increased to 10 per day. The Dog Salmon sockeye run appears strong as well but counts are behind to due large buildups of fish in the Dog Salmon flats that have not moved up the river yet.
- Karluk River king salmon counts continue to be poor and sport fishing for king salmon in the Karluk River drainage (including Karluk Lagoon) is closed. In addition, the use of bait for all sport fishing is prohibited downstream of Karluk Lake and single hooks must be used. The current weir count is still less than 1,000 fish, and is not expected to meet escapement objectives.
- King salmon counts at the Ayakulik remain good, but not great. Right now, the run is projected to meet escapement objectives but the fishery will remain catch and release as few extra fish are expected still. Bait is also not allowed for any sport fishing and only single hooks on artificial lures may be used. The current weir count is nearly 2,000 fish.
- Road system kings appear to be a little late this year with just a few caught so far. They should be showing up any day at the Olds, American and Salonie. This is the first year of returns to Salonie Creek, so keep an eye for large kings to be showing up there!
- In recent years, returns of stocked king salmon have been poor to Monashka Creek, though they have been excellent at the American and Olds rivers. Poor returns are expected again this year and Monashka Creek and Bay are subsequently closed to king salmon fishing to aid in collection of brood stock for enhancement of road system king salmon runs. In addition, in Monashka Creek, bait may not be used and only single hooks are allowed.
- Anglers can find daily updated weir counts by visiting the ADF&G Fish Count Data webpage.
Trout, Dolly Varden
- Dolly Varden have left their over-winter fresh waters and will be feeding in near-shore saltwaters. Recent fishing success has been reported in the near-shore waters of local beaches, though Dollies should be heading back to freshwaters soon. Popular places for fishing Dollies are Mission Beach, the mouths of Pillar and Monashka creeks, Kalsin Beach and at the mouth of Buskin River. From now through the end of June, Dolly Varden should be available in salt waters near most rivers along the Kodiak road system.
- June is also an excellent time to fish rainbow trout in the stocked lakes along the Kodiak road zone, as during and shortly after ice-out the fish travel shoal areas in search of food. Visit lower elevation lakes for rainbow fishing, as fish will be more active in warmer waters. Although ADF&G currently stocks only sterile juvenile trout, some lakes with a stocking history dating to the 1950s may also contain spawning populations of adult fish. Be sure to check the local sport fishing regulations for a current list of stocked lakes as harvest of rainbow trout is only allowed in lakes that are currently stocked.
- Halibut fishing reportedly has been good with catch rates increasing in areas closer to town and in shallower water. Fishing should be excellent for the remainder of June. Popular places to fish halibut in the spring are Whale Pass, Cape Chiniak and Williams Reef, though fish may be found between Woody and Long islands and Buoy #4.
- Recent reports indicate that trolling for king salmon has been excellent in Ugak Bay at times but slow in other places and overall has been spotty. Look for king fishing to improve as water temperatures warm up and bait fish schools move closer to shore. Popular places include Buoy #4, Whale Pass, Sharatin Bay, and Kalsin Bay.
- Other well-known trolling spots along the road system are Cape Chiniak, Cape Gravelle and waters between long and Woody islands. Kodiak king salmon average 20 pounds, but fish up to 70 pounds are occasionally caught.
- The annual Kodiak King Salmon Derby sponsored by the Kodiak Association of Charter Operators is ongoing.
Other Saltwater Fishing
- Black rockfish can currently be caught at depths of 60 feet or less near kelp beds along rock pinnacles and other natural or man-made structures. 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. Remember to check the current regulations for the area you intend to fish. Bag limits for rockfish have been reduced to three per day for pelagic rockfish in Chiniak and Marmot bays.
- Anglers are reminded that the lingcod season does not open until July 1.