Jeff Rice, Area Management Biologist
(907) 772-5227, firstname.lastname@example.org
Area Sport Fishing Reports
October 9, 2023
This fall has presented challenges for coho fishing as the rain has continually swelled the streams giving the fish the advantage. If you have had the opportunity to fish in a lake, you might have experienced good to great coho fishing as even the heavy rains still allow for effective angling. Typically, freshwater coho fishing opportunity will continue through October for the majority of systems in the area, though the peak fishing occurred in September. One should expect coho to be in their spawning colors, but the occasional semi-bright edible fish can still be found.
Anglers are reminded that the use of bait is allowed in many freshwater systems between September 15 and November 15, but be sure to check the current sport fishing regulation summary for a list of the specific freshwater locations where bait is prohibited year-round.
King salmon catch rates generally slow as the season winds into winter. Anglers may continue to catch king salmon in the saltwater in this area that are ever present and feeding throughout the year although at reduced catch rates than the summer. Remember, you still need to purchase a king salmon stamp if you hope to harvest a king before the end of 2023. A legal king salmon must be greater than 28 inches from tip of snout to tip of tail (in its natural open position). Winter king salmon are often thought to be the best tasting as they are rich with omega-3 oil that help build and maintain a healthy body.
- The resident bag and possession limit is two king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length;
- From October 1, 2023 through March 31, 2024 a resident angler may use two rods when fishing for king salmon, a person using two rods under this regulation may only retain salmon.
- The nonresident bag and possession limit is one king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length;
- From July 16 through December 31, the nonresident annual harvest limit is one king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length; any king salmon harvested from January 1 through July 15 will apply towards the one fish annual harvest limit;
- Immediately upon landing and retaining a king salmon a nonresident must enter the species, date and location on their sport fishing license or on a nontransferable harvest record;
With the conclusion of the marine creel survey for the season, inseason halibut catch rates are no longer being collected in the sport fishery but halibut can still be caught in area waters. Halibut catch rates typically increase throughout the summer as these fish migrate into the area and remain stable throughout the early fall before declining as winter approaches.
Specific to charter operators in Southeast Alaska and new this year: Monday closures. Charter vessel anglers in Area 2C may not catch and retain halibut (except GAF) on all Mondays beginning July 24, 2023, and continuing through December 31, 2023.
Dolly Varden and Cutthroat Trout
Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout are fat and happy this time of year and are a great sport fish to target in the streams and lakes. Unless otherwise specified in regulation, cutthroat and rainbow trout (in combination) bag limits are 2 per day and 2 in possession but must be a minimum of 11 inch and a maximum of 22 inches. Dolly Varden have no size limit and bag limits are 10 per day and 10 in possession.
Sport fishing for lingcod opened on May 16. Nonresident bag and possession limits have changed since last year. For Northern Southeast Nonresidents – 1 daily, 1 in possession, size limit: 30 to 35 inches in length, or 55 inches or greater in length. Annual limit of 2 fish, one of which is 30 to 35 inches in length, one of which is 55 inches or greater in length. For Southern Southeast Area Nonresidents – 1 daily, 1 in possession, size limit: 30 to 40 inches in length, or 55 inches or greater in length. Annual limit of 2 fish, one of which is 30 to 40 inches in length, one of which is 55 inches or greater in length. Alaskan Resident bag and possession remain – 1 daily, 2 in possession, no size limit.
There have been some changes to rockfish regulations since the last fishing season. Pelagic rockfish regulations remain the same with a daily bag limit of 5 and possession limit of 10 in the Petersburg, Wrangell, and Kake area. Slope and demersal shelf rockfish species both have a daily bag limit of one fish and possession limit of 2 for Alaska residents, but demersal shelf rockfish are closed to retention for nonresident anglers and yelloweye are closed to retention for all anglers. A helpful species identification guide has been published on the ADFG website. Please see current emergency orders for a full description of these management actions.
Anglers are reminded that a rockfish release device is now required to be used whenever releasing rockfish, and a rockfish release device must be onboard your vessel whenever sport fishing in marine waters.
Interactive Fishing Location Maps
Check out the wefishak page on the ADF&G website to discover popular fishing locations and information on species run timing, fishing gear selections, and boat and angler access tips thru the Sport Fish gofishak application.