Hatchery king salmon fishing continues to produce fish for both marine boat anglers and shore based anglers. The local areas where anglers are having luck are: Auke Bay, Fritz Cove, Gastineau Channel and Fish Creek. Anglers are reminded that the Terminal Harvest Area regulations are now in effect. For anglers fishing in Auke Bay/Fritz Cove and upper Gastineau Channel the following regulations apply through Sunday, Aug. 31:
• The daily bag and possession limit is four king salmon of any size;
• King salmon harvested by nonresidents in the designated terminal harvest area and time period do not count toward the annual limit.
King salmon sport fishing regulations for freshwaters crossed by the Juneau road system were also liberalized through Aug. 31 to allow harvest of hatchery king salmon entering local streams near hatchery release sites. The daily bag and possession limit is four king salmon of any size. King salmon harvested by nonresidents in the designated terminal harvest area and time period do not count toward their annual limit.
Regulations for Fish Creek Pond on Douglas Island are as follows:
• Use of bait is allowed;
• Use of weighted hooks and lures, and multiple (treble) hooks with a gap greater than ½ inch between the point and shank is allowed;
• Anglers may retain king salmon that are hooked elsewhere than in the mouth (snagged).
These regulations do not apply in the freshwaters of Fish Creek proper (excluding Fish Creek Pond) and in intertidal waters within a 200 yard radius of the creek mouth. Attempting to snag or retain fish hooked elsewhere than in the mouth is prohibited.
Anglers fishing on the backside of Douglas, South Shelter Island area, Lower Lynn Canal and Couverden also reported harvesting king salmon. Generally, catch rates this spring have been better than the past three-year average. Anglers fishing outside of the designated Juneau Terminal Harvest Area are reminded that the resident bag and possession limit is 3 king salmon 28 inches or greater in length, with no annual limit. The non-resident bag and possession limit is 2 king salmon 28 inches or greater in length through June 30. Starting July 1, the non-resident bag and possession limit is 1 king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length. There is an annual limit of 6 king salmon for non-residents and a harvest record is required.
Chum salmon fishing in and around Amalga Harbor and the mouth of Peterson Creek salt chuck has been heating up over the past week. Anglers are reporting good catch rates there for chum salmon. Catch rates for chums should continue to improve through early July.
Resident and non-resident limits for chum salmon are:
• 16 inches or longer; 6 daily, 12 in possession.
Halibut and Rockfish
Boat anglers reported catching quite of few halibut last week in and around Shelter Island, Icy Strait, Benjamin Island and Halibut Cove. Rockfish were also caught near Pt. Retreat, Couverden, Icy Strait and St. James Bay. Anglers are reminded that all non-pelagic rockfish caught must be retained until their bag limit is reached. Please consult the 2014 Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulation Summary Book to identify pelagic and non-pelagic rockfish and for daily bag and possession limits.
Sockeye Salmon — Windfall Creek
The number of sockeye at Windfall Creek has increased over the past week. Reports indicate quite a few fish in the traditional pools at the outlet stream near the confluence of Windfall Creek and Herbert River. Sport fishing is allowed from the outlet of Windfall Lake to the confluence of Herbert River and within 100 yards of the confluence during the month of June on Wednesdays and Saturdays. During these days, the sockeye salmon limit is 1 daily and 1 in possession, 16 inches or longer. Sockeye salmon cannot be retained and must be released immediately if caught in Windfall Lake and all of the inlet streams. Bait is prohibited, and only unbaited artificial lures and flies may be used. Anglers are also reminded that the portion of Windfall Creek outlet stream from the lake to the Herbert River is closed to all fishing through June and July except for the days mentioned above.
Cutthroat trout and Dolly Varden
Dolly Varden and trout fishing is beginning to shift gears a bit in the Juneau area. Fish can now be seen moving back into local streams in anticipation of the salmon return where Dolly Varden and trout will actively feed on salmon eggs. Fish can still be found in saltwater areas at the mouths of local creeks but look for fish to move into fresh water over the next few weeks. Fishing should be good in Cowee, Peterson and Montana creeks as well as saltwater shorelines in Gastineau Channel. Anglers typically have success catching these fish using small spinners or smolt pattern flies. With warming stream temperatures, hatching freshwater invertebrates also provide some food for freshwater resident fish, especially during the warmer periods of dryer days. Later in July, egg patterns will become more effective as salmon begin to return on their spawning migration.
The following bag and possession limits apply in freshwater drainages crossed by the Juneau road system as well as saltwater areas within ¼ mile of shore:
• Dolly Varden: 2 daily, 2 in possession, no size limit.
• Cutthroat and rainbow trout: 2 daily, 2 in possession, 14 inch minimum and 22 in maximum size limit.
Use of bait in Juneau area freshwaters is prohibited except for in Salmon Creek reservoir, and Twin Lakes. The following streams are closed to sport fishing: Auke Creek below Glacier Highway, Auke Nu drainage, Duck Creek, Jordan Creek, Steep Creek, Switzer Creek, and Vanderbilt Creek. Dolly Varden fishing is closed in Auke Lake drainages upstream of Glacier Highway and in Mendenhall Lake. Anglers should check the 2014 Sport Fishing Regulations Summary Booklet available at local vendors, the ADF&G office, or online at 1.usa.gov/TyB0kd for closed areas and bag and possession limits for the various Juneau freshwater systems.
Current emergency orders and news releases for Southeast Alaska can be found here: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/EONR/index.cfm?ADFG=region.R1.