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King, coho fishing improves

Fishing report

Posted: Wednesday, August 09, 2000

ALASKA DEPT. OF FISH AND GAME

King salmon catch rates remain better than average with arrival of feeder kings, coho salmon catch rates leap up to decent rates, and halibut fishing remain fair in the local Juneau waters.

King salmon catch rates in the local Juneau area improved last week due to success with feeder kings. The catch rate of 36 rod hours per fish is better than the five-year average of 60 rod hours, and the catch rate last year at this time of 83 rod hours per king. Local areas where kings were harvested included North and South Shelter, Outer Point, backside of Douglas, and Young's Bay.

Coho salmon fishing improved last week, with the catch rate of 10 rod hours per fish being similar to the five-year average of 9 rod hours. Last year at this time the catch rate was 5 rod hours. The local hotspot for coho was North Shelter, although fish were also picked up at South Shelter and Auke Bay. Anglers traveling out to Point Retreat down to Hawk Inlet also found success with coho. Coho salmon fishing should continue to improve steadily into September.

Halibut effort comprised approximately 60 percent of the sampled effort in the Juneau area. Halibut catch rates remained at 11 rod hours per fish last week, while this time last year the catch rate was 9 rod hours, and the five-year average is 7 rod hours. Last week the majority of halibut sampled was landed in the local Juneau waters, rather than further out in Icy and Chatham straits.

Halibut were caught throughout the Juneau area, with north end hot spots being Benjamin Island, North and South Shelter, and Point Retreat, while on the south end anglers did best on the backside of Douglas. Halibut fishing in the Juneau area typically continues to improve through August.

Roadside anglers should try their luck for chum and 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 in this no-snagging area. Areas along the beach near Gastineau Hatchery that are open to snagging are clearly marked.

Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout are also available along the area beaches, such as in Gastineau Channel and beaches out the road, and in local streams with returning runs of chum and pink salmon, such as Cowee and Montana creeks. Note that as of August 1, 2000, Windfall Creek, below the lake, is once again open to sport fishing.

The daily bag and possession limit for Dolly Varden in both freshwater and from saltwater beaches is two fish per day, no size limit. The daily bag and possession limit for cutthroat and rainbow trout (in combination) is 2 fish per day, with a 14-inch minimum and 22-inch maximum size limit.

The use of bait is prohibited in all freshwater drainages crossed by the Juneau road system from November 16 through September 14, except at Twin Lakes where bait is allowed throughout the year and in the Fish Creek Pond

during June 22 to September 30, 2000. Please consult your regulation book for further specifics on the roadside fisheries in the Juneau area.

The personal use sockeye fishery at Sweetheart Creek in Gilbert Bay (37 miles SE of Juneau) is open from June 1 to October 31. Personal use permits for this sockeye fishery are available at the Division of Commercial Fisheries in Douglas. The daily bag and possession limit is 25 sockeye salmon, and the personal use fishing at Sweetheart Creek is open seven days a week.

The high water levels over the last few weeks have brought in the sockeye salmon to Sweetheart Creek. People are urged to use caution and common sense while fishing at Sweetheart Creek, as brown bears-including a sow with two cubs-have been fishing in the area as well during the last few weeks. Don't leave your fish unattended, make sure you clean your fish and dispose of carcasses in the water, stay on the trail, stay in groups, make noise, and minimize encounters with bears.

King crab effort and catches have been increasing in recent weeks. A majority of the harvest was from Section 11-A, which encompasses most local Juneau waters. Remember that you must have your sport fishing license and personal use harvest permit in your possession when you are harvesting red or blue king crab from those waters. You can obtain that harvest permit from the Commercial Fisheries Regional office in Douglas. If you had a personal use king crab harvest permit from last season, you must turn this in prior to receiving a harvest permit for this season.

Based on data collected from the ADF&G red king crab survey that was completed on July 30, there will not be a SE Alaska commercial red king crab fishery. The allowable commercial harvest from Section 11-A has been reallocated to the personal use fishery, based upon the Section 11-A red and blue king crab management and allocation plan.

Therefore, as of August 4, 2000 the personal use daily bag and possession limit in Juneau Section 11-A was increased from 2 to 3 male red or blue king crab per person. Additionally, the seasonal personal use bag limit was increased from 10 to 20 male red or blue king crab per individual, and from 20 to 40 crab per household.

Fishers that have already harvested their previous individual or household season limits of 10 or 20 red king crab, respectively, may be issued an addendum permit allowing them to harvest up to a total of 20 red king crab per individual or 40 king crab per household. Fishers must return their original permit to the Commercial Fisheries office in Douglas before an addendum permit will be issued.

For further information concerning Sport Fish opportunities or regulations, please feel free to contact the Division of Sport Fish at 465-4270.

For further information concerning the personal use sockeye and Section 11-A king crab fisheries, please contact the Division of Commercial Fisheries at 465-4250. Good luck fishing!



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