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King salmon fishing in the Juneau area improved last week, taking an average of 31 hours to land a keeper. The five-year average is 22 hours and last year it took 23 hours. Most of the kings sampled last week were caught in the terminal harvest area adjacent to the North Douglas boat launch ramp. This area has an increased daily bag limit of four kings per day, of which no more than three may be 28 inches or greater in length.
Kings harvested in this terminal area by non-residents do not count toward their three-king annual bag limit. 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 Douglas Bridge. Anglers venturing out to Doty's Cove, Pt. Salisbury, Pt. Bishop, Lizardhead and Homeshore are also bringing back kings.
Chums continue to be caught in the Juneau area. Most were picked up on the Breadline while others were harvested around North Douglas and the drag from Lizardhead to Pt. Retreat. These fish remain bright and are very good smoked, canned or barbecued. Trolling over a school of chums can provide lots of action.
While 95 percent of the angler effort was concentrated on salmon fishing, those fishing for halibut spent more time to catch one than they did last week. The halibut harvest rate increased to 29 hours, which is close to last years 23 hours, but considerably longer than the five-year average of nine hours. The halibut sampled last week came from the Icy Strait area. Halibut fishing should improve until September, when the halibut catch rates drop off.
Eagle Beach and Auke Bay reopened to Dolly Varden fishing on June 1. For more call 465-4270.