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Last week, Juneau area marine boat anglers had the best king salmon catch rates of the year. The average marine boat angler took 14 hours to land a king. The majority of the king salmon are being harvested from the Auke Bay/Fritz Cove area. King salmon were also sampled from Point Bishop and Lizardhead. During the same week last year, it took 21 hours to land a king. The five-year average harvest rate for king salmon is 20 hours.
Last week, 85 percent of the angling effort was directed toward salmon. However, anglers pursuing halibut are having good success. The harvest rate was 7 hours per halibut last week. Last year it was 6 hours, and the five-year average is 9 hours. Local spots known to produce halibut are Vanderbilt Reef, Benjamin Island, and North Pass. Anglers that fish in Icy Strait typically have better success.
The terminal saltwater area near Juneau is open to harvest surplus hatchery-produced king salmon. The bag and possession limit in the saltwater terminal harvest area and in the freshwater drainages that are open to fishing is four king salmon, no size limit. This bag limit will apply to both resident and nonresident anglers. In addition, king salmon taken in these waters by nonresidents do not count toward their annual limit of three king salmon. These regulations will remain in effect through Aug. 31.
The saltwater terminal area (THA) is defined as the contiguous marine waters of the Auke Bay area, Fritz Cove and Gastineau Channel that are bound on the west side by a line that extends from Point Louisa to the navigational aid at the northern tip of Portland Island, along the eastern shore of Portland Island to its southern most tip and then to the tip of Outer Point on Douglas Island. The eastern boundary of the THA is the Juneau-Douglas bridge in Gastineau Channel.
Outside the terminal saltwater area, for all resident sport anglers in Southeast Alaska, the daily king salmon bag and possession limit is two king salmon 28 inches or greater in length. Non-resident anglers are limited to one king salmon 28 inches or greater in length per day. In addition, all non-resident anglers are limited to three king salmon annually. The Department of Fish and Game reminds anglers that heading and filleting king and coho salmon is prohibited prior to returning to your 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.