Creel surveys conducted by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game have finished for the 2009 season. The published report states that throughout Southeast Alaska, halibut and coho fishing remains good for the month of September, however king salmon fishing has tapered, as is typical in the fall and winter months. Similarly, fishing for pink and chum salmon is basically over for the season.
But should an ambitious fisherman still feel the itch to fish, the report states the best king salmon fishing can still be found locally at a harvest rate of 219 rod hours per fish, which is still below the five-year average.
Halibut, however, remains strong in the Juneau area and above the five-year average for the area.
Due to a low number of catches, no hot spots are currently recommended. Officials would like to remind anglers fishing for king salmon must have in possession a 2009 fishing license and a king salmon stamp.
Anglers continue to have luck with coho (silver salmon), thought not as good as the prior week, taking 13-rod hours to harvest a fish. Last year it took 19-rod hours, and the five-year average was at six-rod hours per fish. Anglers had luck at a variety of locations last week, with the hot spots being west of Pt. Retreat, North Shelter and the Breadline.
Anglers also had good luck with halibut, taking nine-rod hours to harvest a fish. Last year no harvested halibut were encountered at this time and the five-year average is around 15-rod hours. Again, anglers had luck at a variety of locations, with the hot spots being Point Sophia, Benjamin Island and east of Point Retreat.
Empire photographer and avid fisherman, Brian Wallace had luck last week at Swanson Harbor and Hanus Reef fishing the slack tide. He also reported picking up a coho on a pass by Favorite Reef.
Here's the rundown for local Juneau waters:
King (chinook) salmon: 219 rod hours/fish
Halibut: 9 rod hours/fish
Coho salmon: 11 rod hours/fish
Note on steelhead:
Officials would like to remind anglers that regulations for steelhead sport fishing on the Juneau road system were modified by the Board of Fisheries this past winter. Steelhead fishing in all streams crossed by the Juneau road system is now catch and release only, retention of steelhead is prohibited.