King salmon anglers in the local Juneau area last week encountered the best fishing success thus far this season. Last week the catch rate improved to 23 rod hours per king, which is similar to the catch rate last year at this time of 25 rod hours, and the five-year average of 20 rod hours per fish.
The vast majority of fish were picked up in the Juneau Saltwater Terminal Harvest Area located at North Douglas/Auke Bay/Fritz Cove. Kings were also caught at North Shelter and the Breadline on the north end, and in the south section of Gastineau Channel, Taku Inlet and Doty's Cove on the south end.
Remember that Taku Inlet north of a line from Cooper Point to the mouth of Dorothy Creek remains closed to king salmon fishing through 11:59 p.m., today.
Effective till Aug. 31, the Juneau Saltwater Terminal Harvest Area is open to the retention of four king salmon per day per person, of which no more than three kings may be 28 inches or more in length.
The terminal area includes all contiguous marine waters east of a line from Indian Point in Auke Bay to the tip of False Outer Point on Douglas Island, and waters west of the Juneau Douglas Bridge. Maps of the terminal harvest area are posted at local boat launches and harbors. Anglers can not possess king salmon in excess of the regulations for the area where they are fishing. Regulations prohibit the possession of king salmon less than 28 inches when fishing outside the designated terminal harvest area.
The four-line limitation on chartered vessels fishing for king salmon during June, and non-retention of king salmon on Wednesdays during June and July by nonresident and chartered anglers WILL NOT APPLY within the terminal harvest area. Also, king salmon taken by nonresidents in this terminal harvest area DO NOT COUNT toward the annual limit of two king salmon.
For more information regarding the terminal harvest area, please see news releases and maps posted at local boat harbors, or call Division of Sport Fish at 465-4270.
With most anglers focusing on kings, the halibut fishing effort remains light at less than 10 percent of the total effort sampled last week. The halibut catch rate was 16 rod hours per flatfish, while last year's rate was 17 rod hours and the five-year average is seven rod hours. Approximately 90 percent of the halibut sampled last week on the docks were harvested in Icy Strait, while a few were also picked up at the halibut holes at the Breadline, Point Retreat, and Doty's Cove.
Look for halibut catch success in the local Juneau waters to steadily improve in the upcoming weeks as the halibut make their way into shallower inside waters.
Roadside anglers fishing for Dolly Varden along Gastineau Channel, North Douglas, and beaches out the road continues to be excellent. Remember that the Dolly Varden bag and possession limit is two fish with no size limit. Please consult your regulation book for further specifics on the roadside fisheries in the Juneau area.
Effective until Dec. 31, the lingcod bag and possession limit for all sport anglers in the marine waters of northern Southeast Alaska is reduced from two fish per day, four in possession to one fish per day, two in possession. Additionally, a minimum size limit of 38 inches will be in effect for non-resident anglers and all anglers fishing from a chartered vessel in northern Southeast Alaska. Furthermore, for all anglers fishing from a chartered vessel, all lingcod must be landed only by hand or with a landing net.
These restrictions are necessary to stay within the guideline harvest levels of lingcod in northern Southeast Alaska.
In addition, effective June 6, marine boat anglers possessing sport caught lingcod and returning to any ports adjacent to Southeast Alaska communities with ongoing port sampling/creel survey programs may not fillet, multilate, or discard the head of these lingcod until the fish has been offloaded, unless the fish are preserved or have been consumed onboard.
This prohibition will be in effect until Sept. 24, in Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Yakutat; until Sept. 10 in Craig, Klawock, Petersburg, and Wrangell; and until June 25 in Haines. For further details on this prohibition, please contact the Division of Sport Fish at 465-4270.
For further information concerning Sport Fish opportunities or regulations, please feel free to contact the Division of Sport Fish at 1-907-465-4270.