Area Sport Fishing Reports

September through October Season

Coho (silver) salmon fishing in the Chilkat River and Chilkoot River

Coho fishing in the Chilkat and Chilkoot Rivers starts in late September when the glaciers stop melting, the water becomes clear of glacial silt, and the river water levels drop. River flooding from heavy rains can negatively affect angler success. A graph of the Chilkat River water level for the last 7 days and forecast for the next 2 days can be seen here.

The Chilkat River coho salmon run averages 70,000 fish, and Chilkat River fish wheel catches through early October give us a good indicator of run strength. The Chilkoot River run is much smaller, and the main run enters the Chilkoot River after the weir is removed in early September.

Creel surveys of Chilkat and Chilkoot River coho salmon anglers take place in October, and results will be posted on the fishing report page each Monday in October.

When fishing in the Chilkat River drainage, the bag limit is 3 coho salmon per day and 6 coho salmon in possession. To be out of an angler’s possession, the fish must be consumed or preserved in a way that they could be eaten after 15 days or more. Fish on ice in a cooler remain in the angler’s possession.

When fishing in the Chilkoot River drainage, the bag and possession limit are both 2 coho salmon. Be advised that anglers are restricted by the regulations for the waters they are fishing in, and bag limits are not cumulative between areas. For example, an angler who caught 3 coho salmon on the Chilkat River one day would not be allowed to keep any coho salmon that same day on the Chilkoot River, as they would already have exceeded the Chilkoot daily limit.

After feeding for the summer in near-shore salt waters, Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout return to the larger rivers, such as the Chilkat, Chilkoot, and Taiya Rivers, before finding lakes and deep fresh waters for the winter. Please refer to Sport Fishing Regulations link to the left for specifics on when bait use is allowed and the cutthroat size limits for specific waters.

Sport fishing for shrimp is open in the Haines and Skagway area. Non-Alaska resident anglers should read the regulation summary booklet for the bag & possession limits, and all shrimpers should review the pot configuration details in the regulation book.

The Southeast Alaska red and blue king crab personal use fishery is open July 1-March 31 to Alaska residents only, with a bag and possession limit of 1 legal size male crab. For the most current information on this closure, please refer to the ADF&G Commercial Fish Division’s king crab personal use news release.

Steelhead are rare in the Haines and Skagway Area. If you happen to catch one, remember that steelhead must be at least 36 inches in length to be harvested. There is a 1 fish daily bag limit and 2 fish annual harvest limit per angler. Steelhead anglers must record their harvest on the back of their license.

Yukon Resident Sport Fishing Fees: Residents of Yukon, Canada may purchase a Class 11, Yukon annual sport fishing license and king salmon stamp for the same cost that Alaska residents pay. Yukon residents are considered non-Alaska residents and they must comply with all regulations pertaining to non-residents. The Class 11 license is available from any license vendor, and also from the Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau ADF&G offices, but this license can not be purchased online. If you have any questions, please call the ADF&G licensing office at 907-465-2376 or e-mail

Fishing Guide Registration and Logbooks: All sport fishing guides and businesses must register with ADF&G. This can be done online or at the ADF&G office in Haines, where guides can also pick up the required logbook.

For a detailed summary of sport fishing sites in the Haines and Skagway area, use links on the Fishing Information tab.

Helpful links