Haines/Skagway Fishing Update Includes Growing Chilkoot River Sockeye Numbers

The following is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

July 11, 2022

Check out ADF&G’s gofishak interactive map to discover new fishing locations and get information on species run timing, fishing gear selections, as well as boat and trail access tips!

Fresh Water Fishing

Sockeye Salmon

A strong pulse of sockeye salmon entered the Chilkoot River over the weekend, and anglers are having success. 2022 sockeye salmon counts compared to the recent 10-year average will be posted throughout the season. With the end of hot weather, the Chilkoot River water level has returned to normal.

Watch ADF&G Ryan Ragan’s YouTube video to learn about sockeye salmon fishing gear and techniques. Highlights are at the video times listed below.

39:47 Rod & reel choice
47:00 Fly and shrimp fly options
59:00 Rigging with weights
1:04:20 Fishing methods

Char and Trout

Chilkat Lake and Mosquito Lake

Both lakes have clear waters and special regulations to protect cutthroat trout:

  • Bait is not allowed.
  • Cutthroat and rainbow trout: 2 fish bag and possession limit, with a slot limit of 14-inch minimum to the 22-inch maximum length required to keep a fish.

In the remainder of the Haines and Skagway area fresh and salt waters, bait is allowed, and the regional length limit for cutthroat and rainbow trout is 11 minimum to the 22-inch maximum.

Chilkoot Lake and Chilkoot River

Chilkoot fresh waters have a special Dolly Varden bag limit:

  • Dolly Varden: 4 fish bags and possession limit, no size limit.

In the remainder of the Haines-Skagway area salt and fresh waters and most of Southeast Alaska, the Dolly Varden bag and possession limit is 10 fish

Salt Water Fishing


Pot fishing for shrimp and Dungeness crab is open year-round in the Haines and Skagway area saltwater.

  • Non-Alaska residents with a sport fishing license can catch shellfish with these bag & possession limits:
    • Dungeness crab – 3 legal size males.
    • Shrimp – 3 quarts or pounds.
  • Alaska residents catch shellfish under subsistence or personal use regulations with more liberal bag & possession limits.

See the shellfish summary pages in the Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulation booklet for details.

All shrimp harvesters must print a no-cost permit from the ADF&G online store and record their daily pot fishing effort and harvest on the paper permit. The harvest information must be reported online, or the paper permit must be returned to ADF&G by December 31 each year.

Char and Trout

Many Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout spend the summer feeding in near-shore salt waters in the vicinity of large river mouths, such as the Chilkat, Chilkoot, and Taiya Rivers. They can be caught by casting from shore.

King salmon

To conserve Chilkat River king salmon, retention of king salmon is not allowed now through December 31, 2022, in the Haines and Skagway area.

Sport Fishing Licenses

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.

Residents of Yukon Territory in Canada may purchase an annual Alaska sport fishing license for the same price that Alaska residents pay. Yukoners are not Alaska residents, so Yukoners must comply with the nonresident regulations such as the number of shellfish pots, shellfish bag limits, and king salmon bag and annual limits. The Yukoner license is available under the nonresident alien category through the ADF&G online store or from license vendors in Haines and Skagway.

For more information about sport fishing in Haines and Skagway, call Area Biologist Richard Chapell at 907-766-3638.