Coho catch rates in the Juneau area were a little better than average the week ending Aug. 7. Marine boat anglers put in four hours on average to land a coho. Last year during the same week it took five hours per coho and the five-year average is also five hours. The hotspots for coho were North Pass and the back side of Douglas Island.
The harvest rate for halibut was four hours per fish, which is better than average for the Juneau area. Last year during the same week it took seven hours to land a halibut, and the five-year average is seven hours. The majority of the halibut sampled in the survey were harvested from the Poundstone/Benjamin Island area, followed by Icy Strait and Vanderbilt reef.
It took the average marine boat angler 63 hours to land a king salmon. This is better than the catch rate last year (67 hours per king), and better than the five-year average of 83 hours. The king salmon catch rate improved from the previous week when it took 85 hours to land a king. Most of the kings in our survey were harvested from the back side of Douglas Island, Couverden and South Shelter Island.
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 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 harvest area 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 area is the Douglas Bridge in Gastineau Channel.
Outside the terminal saltwater area, for all resident sport anglers in Southeast, the daily king salmon bag and possession limit is two king salmon 28 inches or greater in length. Nonresident anglers are limited to one king salmon 28 inches or greater in length per day. In addition, all nonresident 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.
For further information, call the Division of Sport Fish at (907) 465-4270.