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Area Sport Fishing Reports
Sitka

November 1, 2022

A big thank you to every marine angler who took the time to stop and speak with our dockside interview staff this season! The data collected and tags returned during these interviews provide essential information for managing Sitka’s resources sustainably.

As we reach the end of the year, don’t forget to report on any permits you may have been issued early in the season.

Salmon

Cohos are on the later side of their runs as salmon fishing wraps up for the season. By the numbers, it appears to be a fairly average year for coho escapement. These fish tend to hold in deeper water while instream. Try bright spinners or spoons to coax a hit from these acrobatic fish.

Halibut

As these fish move out to deeper water for the year, fishing will slow down. Try anchoring up and getting as much scent in the water as you can.

Lingcod

The fishing season is open as of May 16 and will run through November. Try fishing around structure and using a leadheaded jig to thump the bottom. No size limit for residents, but for nonresidents, the slot limit has increased a bit from previous years to allow more opportunity. For 2022 it is 30-40 inches with an annual limit of 1

Demersal Shelf Rockfish (DSR)

In 2022, Demersal Shelf Rockfish (DSR) has opened to provide opportunity for residents. Resident anglers are allowed one DSR rockfish daily, one in possession, EXCLUDING YELLOWEYE. DSR are a subset of nonpelagic rockfish including: Yelloweye, Quillback, China, Tiger, Rosethorn, Copper, and Canary.

Slope Rockfish

All anglers are allowed one daily, one in possession. The most common slope rockfish include: Redbanded, Rougheye, Silvergray, Shortraker, and Vermilion.

Pelagic Rockfish

Fishing for rockfish is good year-round. Try fishing around underwater structure off of kelp beds with a dart or jig. These rockfish make for excellent table fare in the winter when salmon are harder to come by.

Anglers are allowed 5 daily, 10 in possession, with the exception of CSEO (Sitka Area), where nonresidents are allowed 3 daily, 6 in possession. See the Sitka Area Special Exceptions for a map of CSEO on page 23 of the Southeast regulation summary.

The department has developed a guide to assist anglers in identifying species groupings.

Shellfish

Be sure to check your local fishing regulations to be aware of harvest limits, size requirements and necessary permits for shellfish. Also be aware that certain types of shellfish in Southeast Alaska have been known to cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) which can be fatal.

For Dungeness crab, try placing pots in bays and around the mouths of river where crabs congregate to feed. If fishing with friends, be sure to keep each angler’s catch separate to avoid pooling bag limits.

Dolly Varden and Rainbow/Cutthroat trout

These fish can be targeted year-round in freshwaters. Try fishing around structures in the stream but be careful not to lose your lure. These fish make for a fun fight and don’t require a boat to get good access.

There are several lakes on the Sitka Road System that contain rainbow, cutthroat, and brook trout, as well as grayling and Dolly Varden.

Check out the new gofishak interactive map to discover popular fishing locations and information on species run timing, fishing gear selections, and boat and angler access tips!

For further information, please feel free to contact the Sitka area sportfish management staff at (907) 747-5355.

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