Last week about 85 percent of sport fishing effort was concentrated on salmon fishing, with most anglers targeting coho. Folks trying to catch a halibut accounted for only 15 percent of the total rod hours.
Coho fishing in the Juneau area improved considerably over the previous week. It took an average of five hours to land a silver, compared to 10 hours the week before. The five-year average for coho fishing is eight hours per fish, while last year it took six hours. Coho catch rates are running real close to the five-year average. The hotspots for catching coho are Cordwood, Point Retreat, North Pass and the backside of Douglas Island.
The number of rod hours it took to land a king salmon climbed to 163 hours per fish. Last week, which included the Salmon Derby, it took 136 hours to land a keeper. The five-year average is 111 hours, while last year it took 250 hours of effort to put a king in the boat. Feeder kings continue to be caught around Outer Point and the backside of Douglas Island. The daily bag and possession limit for king salmon in most of Southeast waters is one fish 28 inches or greater in length.
The department would like to remind anglers that heading and filleting king and coho salmon prior to returning to port is prohibited. Gutting and gilling is allowed. Please reference the notices posted at the local harbors or call this office if you have any questions.
While most anglers were trolling for coho, those that pursued halibut spent an average of eight hours to land a fish, which is exactly the same as the previous week. The five-year average is six hours and last year it took 14 hours to harvest a halibut. Most of the halibut were brought in from around Vanderbilt Reef and Benjamin Island. Small craft advisories throughout the weekend likely kept most anglers that wanted to catch a halibut from venturing out to Icy Strait, which is where the majority of halibut sampled at the Juneau area docks have been coming from this year.
Roadside anglers can find chums, pinks and early coho in Montana Creek and near the DIPAC salmon hatchery. Coho salmon fishing can also be good along the shore around Point Louisa, as schools of fish migrate past on their way to freshwater streams.
Personal use king crab effort in the Juneau area continues to slow. You must have a permit in your possession while pulling king crab pots in Section 11-A. The daily bag and possession limit is two legal sized male king crab per person. The season limit is 10 crab per person and 20 per household.
For more call 465-4270.