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King salmon fishing in the local Juneau area continues to improve, with last week's catch rate improving to 15 rod hours per king. The catch rate year at this time was 38 rod hours, and the five-year average is 23 rod hours per fish.
Nearly all of the fish were picked up in the Juneau Saltwater Terminal Harvest Area located at North Douglas/Auke Bay/Fritz Cove. Kings were also caught locally at North Shelter, backside of Douglas, Young's Bay, Taku Inlet, and Gastineau Channel. A few anglers also harvested some kings at Funter Bay and along the Homeshore area of Icy Strait.
Effective June 10 to Aug. 31, the Juneau Saltwater Terminal Harvest Area is open to the retention of four king salmon per person per day, 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.
An occasional chum, coho and pink salmon were also caught in the local Juneau area last week. Look for the pink and chum salmon runs to show up within the next few weeks, and peak in early July. The local coho stocks typically begin to make a showing in late June or early July, and steadily increase their presence into September.
With most anglers focusing on kings, the halibut fishing effort remains low at approximately 20 percent of the total effort sampled last week. The halibut catch rate was 13 rod hours per flatfish, while last year's rate was 12 rod hours and the five-year average is five rod hours.
The majority 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 Benjamin Island, North Shelter, the Breadline, the backside of Douglas, and on the south end of Gastineau Channel. 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 have reported that the catch success has declined. Roadside anglers may want to try for king salmon in the Terminal Harvest area at Fritz Cove or off the Auke Bay dock. Additionally, the sockeye fishery at Windfall Creek and it's outlet to Herbert River is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays during June.
The daily bag and possession limit is one sockeye per day. Note that sport fish anglers no longer need a Juneau sockeye salmon harvest record. Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout are also available in local streams. Please consult your regulation book for further specifics on the roadside fisheries in the Juneau area.
Roadside anglers can also try their luck for king salmon at the Gastineau Hatchery area. Anglers are reminded that all waters within 150 feet of the Gastineau Hatchery fishing dock and the fishing dock itself are closed to snagging. Any fish hooked elsewhere on the body other than the mouth must be released immediately. Areas along the beach near Gastineau Hatchery that are open to snagging are clearly marked.
July 1 will mark the beginning of the personal use red king crab season in Section 11-A of the Juneau area. For those of you who have not yet obtained your 2000-2001 permit, they are available from the Division of Commercial Fisheries office in Douglas. Remember that if you had a 1999-2000 Section 11-A permit, you must return the 1999-2000 permit to Division of Commercial Fisheries before you can apply for the 2000-2001 Section 11-A permit.
Conservation concerns for the red king crab stocks in Section 11-A have prompted the reduction of daily bag and possession from two king crab per day to one king crab per day, and a seasonal limit reduction of twenty king crab per household to 10 king crab per household. For further information, please contact the Division of Commercial Fisheries at 465-4250.
Effective June 6 to Dec. 31, the lingcod bag and possession limit for all sport anglers in the marine waters of northern Southeast Alaska are 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 information concerning Sport Fish opportunities or regulations, please feel free to contact the Division of Sport Fish at 1-907-465-4270. Good luck fishing!