Kings make a comeback as halibut harvest improves

Posted: Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Fishing is looking good for the derby this weekend. Last week, coho and halibut catch rates were both at 3 hours per fish again, and the kings have made a comeback, going from the prior week's 128 hours per chinook to 36 hours per chinook.

Coho catch rates during the same week last year took 5 hours per coho and the five-year average is 6 hours. The hotspots for coho last week were North Pass, South Shelter Island, the Breadline, and the backside of Douglas Island.

Harvest rates for halibut were great last week too, also taking 3 hours per fish. Last year during the same week it took 4 hours to land a halibut, and the five-year average is 7 hours. The majority of the halibut sampled in the survey were harvested from around North Shelter Island, Benjamin Island, and South Shelter Island. Halibut also were reported from Icy Strait.

Most of the king salmon in Fish and Game's survey were harvested from South Shelter Island, the backside of Douglas Island, and around North Shelter Island.

The terminal salt-water area near Juneau is open through Aug. 31 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, with no size limit. This bag limit will apply to resident and nonresident anglers.

In addition, king salmon taken in these waters by nonresidents do not count toward their annual limit of king salmon. Anglers are reminded that they cannot fish for king salmon outside of the terminal area if they have king salmon less than 28 inches in possession.

For complete information concerning sport fishing opportunities or regulations in the Juneau area, call the Division of Sport Fish at (907) 465-4270.

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