Both the weather and king salmon catch rates improved last week. Although the amount of overall fishing effort remains below average for this time of year. The catch rate of 28 rod hours per king salmon was better than the five year average of 47 hours per fish.
The Breadline and Outer Point were the two local hotspots, although some kings were picked up at North Shelter, Young's Bay and Doty's Cove. Boaters venturing out to Lizard Head Reef and Homeshore also caught some kings as well.
The spring king salmon fishery should continue to improve during the next few weeks, with the peak around Memorial Day weekend. Don't forget about your king salmon stamp and valid sport fishing license for the year 2000 - these must be in your possession while you are sport fishing for king salmon.
Effective 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, May 3, 2000, the king salmon daily bag and possession limits for all sport anglers fishing in the marine waters of Southeast Alaska and Yakutat are reduced from 2 to 1 fish 28 inches or greater. In addition, the annual bag limit for non-resident anglers has been reduced from 4 to 2 king salmon 28 inches or greater. These reductions in bag limits are necessary to avoid the SE Alaska sport fishery from exceeding its harvest quota in the year 2000. For more information, please reference the News Release posted at the local docks and boat launches, or call Division of Sport Fish at 465-4270.
Roadside anglers fishing at the False Outer Point/Picnic Cove area continue to pick up some king salmon. The fishery at Picnic Cove is expected to continue to improve over the next two weeks, and then the fishery will diminish by the end of May. Spinning gear rigged with an ounce or less of lead, and a whole herring are the best bets when casting from shore.
A reminder to all those personal use Section 11-A red/blue king crab permit holders from 1999-did you remember to return your permit to the Department by the April 15th, 2000 deadline? If not, please do so as soon as possible. Remember that you must turn in your 1999 permit-even if you ended up not participating in the personal use king crab fishery in the Juneau area during the 1999-2000 season. Failure to turn in your 1999 permit may result in you not qualifying for a 2000 permit.
The Department of Fish and Game reminds anglers that effective April 24th to September 24th, heading and filleting king and coho salmon is prohibited prior to returning back to your port; however, gutting and gilling is allowed. Once back in your port, you may head and/or fillet your catch at a cleaning table or on your vessel once tied up at your slip.
This restriction allows our creel survey crew at the docks to examine intact salmon for evidence of coded wire tags, as well as collecting information on the length and age composition of the sport harvest. Information from recovered coded wire tags provides essential data for Pacific salmon management. Please refer to bulletins posted at all CBJ boat launches and harbors for additional information.
For further information concerning Sport Fish opportunities or regulations, please feel free to contact the Division of Sport Fish at: (907) 465-4270. Good luck fishing!