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Last week the hot spots for king salmon fishing were False Outer Point and Lizardhead. King salmon were also reported caught at the Breadline, North Pass, and in Auke Bay. Last week it took the average Juneau area marine boat angler 45 rod hours to land a king salmon. The five-year average is 34 hours per fish. Last year it took 36 hours to land a keeper. Fishing should continue to improve in the upcoming weeks. Traditionally, the peak is around Memorial Day. Remember you must have in your possession a 2004 fishing license and a king salmon stamp.
While the vast majority of fishing effort was targeted toward salmon, halibut were also sampled in the creel survey last week. It took an average of 10 hours to catch the flatfish, compared to 36 hours last year. The five-year average is 21 rod hours per halibut.
The Department of Fish and Game reminds anglers that heading and filleting king and coho salmon is prohibited prior to returning to port. However, gutting and gilling is allowed. Once you return to port, you may head and/or fillet your catch at a cleaning table or on your vessel after tying up at your slip. This restriction allows our creel survey crew at the docks to examine intact salmon for evidence of coded wire tags and to collect heads from tagged salmon.
In accordance with sport fishing regulations, if your king salmon is coded wire tagged and sampled by an ADF&G creel survey technician, you must forfeit the head and the date/area you caught the fish. If you want to enter your fish in the spring king salmon derby, you have to make arrangements with the sampler to return the head after it has been officially weighed.