New Rockfish Regulations Established for Ketchikan Residents and Self-Guided Anglers at Chinook Shores Lodge
March 22, 2022

No regulation change for non-residents who can still catch and retain pelagic rockfish and one slope rockfish:

KETCHIKAN, ALASKA / March 23, 2022 – Chinook Shores Lodge, a premier Southeast Alaska fishing lodge specializing in guided charters, self-guided fishing and wildlife viewing, today announced new sportfishing regulations for resident anglers by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game thereby establishing separate bag and possession limits for Rockfish.

In response to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) May 6, 2020 Emergency Order (EO) which prohibited resident and non-resident sport fishing angler retention of demersal shelf rockfish (DSR) species, Chinook Shores Lodge attended and participated in the 2022 ADF&G Board of Fisheries Southeast & Yakutat Finfish and Shellfish Meetings held in Anchorage.

“It’s difficult to accept and understand State’s sportfishing closures without any stock assessment surveys or data to show what’s happening in Southeast inside waters where people really enjoy fishing for Rockfish,” said Chinook Shores Lodge environmental scientist and operations manager McKinley Kellogg. “We understand Yelloweye Rockfish is a sensitive species, but we see a lot of Quillback and Copper Rockfish in our areas and think it is worthwhile to look into those other DSR species to get a better idea of what’s going, why these closures are imposed on anglers and if closures are even necessary in our area.”

The Alaska Department of Fish & Game 2020 Rockfish sportfishing closures were based upon DSR surveys and assessments taken from the Southern Southeast Outside (SSEO) waters and fairweather grounds where the bulk of the commercial fishing occurs. According to Fish & Game data, the commercial fleet began harvesting Rockfish in the 1970’s when the Directed DSR fishery was launched. By 1987 the commercial fleet was harvesting over 3 million pounds a year between the directed fishery and longline bycatch, and this effort continued throughout the early years of 2000 averaging about a million pounds a year of DSR.

While Yelloweye Rockfish retention is prohibited and strictly enforced in the sportfishing sector, hundreds of thousands of pounds of yelloweye are sold each year as bycatch in the commercial groundfish fisheries that occur in Southern Southeast Outside (SSEO) waters.

Constrained by a lack of data, ADF&G is relegated to using this commercial bycatch data along with studies from SSEO waters to justify the closures in Southern Southeast Inside (SSEI) waters.

Residents of SSEI are calling on ADF&G staff to fund studies for rockfish stocks around SSEI. If local rockfish stocks are struggling, many would support taking conservation measures, but are uncomfortable with SSEI residents being held accountable for overfishing in SSEO waters.

“It is unconscionable that non-resident and resident sportfishing was shut down due to the lack of assessed biomass data on the inside waters, and I am hopeful sportfishing regulations will return to pre-2020 measures when viable data is collected from inside waters in the coming years, “said Chinook Shores Lodge CEO and charter guide Jeff Wedekind. “Given the current data on bycatch levels being caught and sold on the market, at a minimum residents should be allowed to go sport fishing for Rockfish.”

Under the newly adopted ADF&G Rockfish rule change, Alaska residents can sportfish January 1st through December 31st in Southeast waters as follows:

  • PELAGIC ROCKFISH: Black Rockfish, Dark Rockfish, Dusky Rockfish, Widow Rockfish and Yellowtail Rockfish
    • Bag Limit = 5 Fish; No Annual Limit; No Size Limit
  • NON-PELAGIC SLOPE ROCKFISH: Redbanded Rockfish, Silvergray Rockfish, Vermilion Rockfish, Rougheye Rockfish and Shortraker Rockfish
    • Bag Limit = 1 Fish; No Annual Limit; No Size Limit
  • NON-PELAGIC DEMERSAL SHELF ROCKFISH (DSR): Quillback Rockfish, China Rockfish, Canary Rockfish, Tiger Rockfish and Copper Rockfish
    • Bag Limit = 1 Fish; No Annual Limit; No Size Limit. (Residents Only)
  • YELLOWEYE: No Open Season

In Ketchikan, sport fishing anglers often fish for rockfish in the calm and protected waters of Knudson Cove and Clover Pass. Non-residents can catch and retain Black Rockfish, Dusky Rockfish, Yellowtail Rockfish, Widow Rockfish and Dark Rockfish with the same bag and possession limits as set for residents, plus one Slope Rockfish.

Sport fishing closures directly affect the businesses of local charter guides, lodges, hotels which market opportunities to independent travelers and cruise ship passengers.

“With so much of Ketchikan’s local economy at stake by the sportfishing regulations adopted by the State of Alaska, it is a shame these meetings were held in Anchorage,”  said Chinook Shores Lodge co-owner Nadra Angerman. “I am pleased that Chinook Shores Lodge was able to represent Ketchikan’s sportfishing sector this year and look forward to attending future meetings to represent our community.”

The 13-day long ADF&G Board of Fisheries Southeast & Yakutat Finfish and Shellfish Meeting was originally scheduled to take place in Ketchikan, but canceled due to COVID-19.

Chinook Shores, Inc. (dba Chinook Shores Lodge) is located 15 miles north of Ketchikan International Airport in Southeast Alaska on Revillagigedo Island. Accommodations include four waterfront beach houses, one waterview vacation rental and The Inn at Knudson Cove. All vacation rental properties have fully equipped kitchens, private outdoor BBQ areas, washer/dryers, cable TV, WiFi and cell service. Chinook Shores Lodge specializes in self-guided fishing and rents custom-built, 23’ aluminum hardtop fishing boats from their private dock to locals and lodge guests who enjoy sportfishing and whale watching. When guests aren’t boating, they often enjoy shopping locally and participating in tours and excursions such as flightseeing, catamaran tours, kayaking, hiking and zip-lining. For more information, visit: and