The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
Winter fishing opportunities
Ice has grown thick on area lakes this winter, especially Mosquito and Chilkat Lakes, so this is a good time to try ice fishing. These two lakes support cutthroat trout populations, as well as Dolly Varden and a few rainbow trout.
Regulations specific to Mosquito Lake and Chilkat Lakes are:
- Bait is not allowed.
- 2 fish bag and possession limits for cutthroat and rainbow trout.
- 14-inch minimum and 22 inch maximum length to keep a cutthroat or rainbow trout.
Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout will start feeding more aggressively in the mainstem Chilkat River as salmon fry start emerging from spawning gravels.
Steelhead are rare in the Haines and Skagway Area. If you happen to catch one, remember that steelhead must be at least 36 inches in length to be harvested. There is a 1 fish daily bag limit and 2 fish annual harvest limit per angler. Steelhead anglers must record their harvest immediately on the back of their license.
Pot fishing for Dungeness crab and shrimp is open year round in the Haines and Skagway area salt water.
Residents of Yukon Territory in Canada may purchase an annual Alaska sport fishing license for the same price that Alaska residents pay. However, Yukoners are not Alaska residents, so Yukoners must comply with the non-resident regulations such as number of shellfish pots, shellfish bag limits, and king salmon bag and annual limits. The Yukoner license is available from license vendors in Whitehorse, Haines, and Skagway.
Alaska residents under 18 years old do not need a sport fishing license. Non-Alaska residents under 16 years old do not need a sport fishing license.
For Alaska residents only, the southeast Alaska red and blue king crab personal use fishery is open July 1 through March 31. In the Haines/Skagway area, the bag and possession limit is six legal size male crab.
Chilkat River king salmon abundance in salt water is very low, so retention of king salmon will not allowed in the Haines and Skagway area from April 15-December 31, 2018. Most wild king salmon runs in Southeast Alaska were very weak in 2017. Despite fishery closures, 2017 Chilkat River king salmon inriver abundance was 1,300 large fish, which is well below the goal range of 1,850 to 3,600 large fish. We expect Chilkat River king salmon run to be smaller than the escapement goal again in 2018.