September 2018: Ketchikan Fishing Report

By on September 13, 2018

King Salmon

The king salmon non-retention period in West Behm Canal, East Behm Canal and Southern Revilla Channel expired on August 14. King salmon may be retained throughout the Ketchikan Area, except in North and Northeast Behm Canal which is closed to salmon fishing year-round (area description below).

Alaska King Salmon

This King Salmon was caught in Ketchikan by Self-Guided Anglers on June 15, 2018

Regional king salmon limits:

  • Bag and possession limit is one king salmon for all anglers, 28 inches or greater in length.
  • For nonresidents, July 1 through December 31, the annual harvest limit is one king salmon 28 inches or greater in length, any king salmon harvested from January 1 through June 30 will apply toward the one fish annual limit; harvest record is required.

North and Northeast Behm Canal

  • Salmon fishing is closed year-round in Behm Canal and the contiguous bays enclosed to the north by a line from the western entrance of Bailey Bay to the northern tip of Hassler Island and a line from Fin Point to Dress Point to a line from Cactus Point to Point Eva.

Coho and Pink salmon

The Ketchikan CHARR Salmon Derby wrapped up over Labor Day weekend, with a total of 741 coho salmon entered. The derby winning fish was a 16.4 lb. coho. Coho catch rates improved a little the last couple weeks, however still continue to track below average for this time of year. Areas that reported the highest coho salmon harvests include the backside of Gravina, Vallenar, Grant Island, Clover Pass, and Neets Bay.

coho salmon, silver salmon

Chinook Shores Lodge is crazy about Cohos! This HUGE Silver Salmon was caught in Ketchikan September 2018.

Pink salmon catch rates have dropped off significantly with most fish having entered their natal streams.

Marine shoreline anglers can target pink and coho salmon in saltwater from Thomas Basin, Mountain Point, North Point Higgins, and Settler’s Cove though angler reports indicate that shoreline fishing has been slow. Pink and coho salmon are now present in freshwater drainages.

Herring Bay is OPEN. The expanded king salmon limits have expired, general regulations for salmon apply in the marine waters seaward of the freshwater boundary (green painted rocks).

  • The bag and possession limit is one king salmon for all anglers, 28 inches or greater in length.
  • For nonresidents, July 1 through December 31, the annual harvest limit is one king salmon 28 inches or greater in length, any king salmon harvested from January 1 through June 30 will apply toward the one fish annual limit; harvest record is required.
  • The bag and possession limit for coho, pink, chum: 16 inches or longer, 6 of each species daily, 12 of each species in possession

Herring Cove Creek is OPEN to sport fishing downstream of the bridge to the ADF&G markers. Upstream of the Herring Cove Bridge is closed to sport fishing.

  • Bait prohibited.
  • Coho, pink, and chum salmon limits (in combination): 16 inches or longer: 2 per day, 2 in possession.
  • King salmon retention is prohibited.

Ketchikan Creek is open to sport fishing for all species including king salmon for the remainder of the year.

The bag and possession limit for king salmon in Ketchikan Creek is two king salmon of any size.

  • King salmon harvested in Ketchikan Creek do not count towards the nonresident annual limit.
  • Fishing gear permitted in Ketchikan Creek is one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure only.
  • Coho, pink, and chum salmon limits (in combination): 16 inches or longer: 2 per day, 2 in possession.

Ward Creek

  • Bait prohibited, only unbaited, single hook artificial lures or flies may be used year-round.
  • Coho, pink, chum and sockeye limits (in combination): 16 inches or longer: 2 per day, 2 in possession.

Bottomfish

Harvest reports for rockfish, lingcod and halibut remain good throughout the Ketchikan area.

Anglers are reminded that beginning January 1, 2020, all marine boat anglers will be required to carry and utilize Rockfish Deepwater Release Devices. Visit the ADF&G Rockfish Conservation webpage for additional information and stop by the Ketchikan office to get a free deepwater release device.

Shrimp

Anglers are required to obtain a free permit for sport, personal use and subsistence shrimp harvest beginning Monday, June 25, 2018. Permits are available online at the ADF&G store or at your local ADF&G office.

Shimp Pot Fishing in Ketchikan

Just for fun — Chinook Shores Lodge employees enjoyed a little post-season shrimp pot fishing last fall.

Rainbow, Cutthroat and Brook Trout

There are a few good opportunities to target rainbow and cutthroat trout along the road system. Anglers targeting trout may want to try Talbot Lake, Harriet Hunt Lake, and Ward Lake on the Ketchikan road system. Also anglers might want to try various small lakes on Gravina Island which can now be accessed from the road system from the airport. If you are up for the hike, anglers have been successful catching brook trout at the outlet of Perseverance Lake.

Be sure to check the 2018 Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations. The Ketchikan Area Freshwater Special Regulations can be found on pages 30-32. Regulations vary depending on the waters you plan to fish.

Source: This information was published by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Wednesday, September 12, 2018.

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