Kodiak Fishing Report: Buskin River Prospects Will Get Better

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

Buskin River photo by USFWS

Kodiak Fishing Report

May 15, 2024

Freshwater Fishing 

  • Dollies are moving now and can be found throughout the Buskin Lake and River. With the high water, fishing is a little tougher but places like the Beaver Pond are often good spots at high water.
  • Steelhead and rainbows are moving around and active as well in the Buskin, though many steelhead are actively spawning right now. Best practice is to fish deeper pools and holding areas and avoid actively spawning fish in the riffles and tail outs.
  • No reports of sockeye in the Buskin yet, but a few are usually around in mid-May, the Buskin weir will be in at the lake outlet this week.

Saltwater Fishing 

  • King salmon fishing has been good when the weather allows. Fish are being caught regularly at the Fingers, between Woody and Long Islands and in Kalsin Bay. The weather seems to be the most limiting factor right now.
  • Lots of folks have also been picking up halibut while trolling this spring. Fish in the 40 lb range have been common near Buoy 4 and the Fingers.
  • Cod are being caught nearly everywhere, with Kalsin Reef and Kalsin Bay seeming to have a particularly high abundance. Fish in the 10-15 lb range are common.
  • Rockfish are also being found regularly at most reefs and rock structures in Chiniak Bay. Black rockfish are found at nearly every rock and reef, but other species such as dark, dusky, yellow tail and widow rockfish can be found by fishing just a little bit deeper and to the sides of the same rocks and reefs.
  • Don’t forget that lingcod season doesn’t open until July 1! There are already lots of reports of anglers catching lingcod, so plan ahead to release them unharmed.

Local Lakes 

As our stocked lakes start to warm up, rainbow trout become more active and start to feed more aggressively and it’s usually a great time to fish them. With the late spring, many lakes are still pretty cold, but will be warming up fast with each sunny day. There has been recent success in the lakes on Woody and Long Islands.

New Species Information

  • New rockfish regulations will take effect June 1 for Kodiak and Afognak waters north of Dangerous and Outlet Capes. This includes all the waters of Afognak, Raspberry and Shuyak Islands as well as Chiniak, Ugak and Marmot Bays and all of Whale Pass and Kupreanof Straight. It is also in effect for all anglers, both resident and non-resident.
  • Anglers fishing in these waters can keep 5 rockfish per day, but only 2 can be of a single species. This is similar to salmon bag limits in the Kodiak Road Zone. For example, an angler could harvest 2 black rockfish, 2 dusky rockfish and a yelloweye. Species ID guides are available in the Southwest Alaska Regulation Booklet, on the ADF&G website and in the Kodiak ADF&G office.
  • The standard bag limit for non-pelagic and yelloweye is still in effect Island wide, only 2 of your rockfish bag limit may be non-pelagic species and only one of these may be a yelloweye.

Emergency Orders

Please review the emergency orders and advisory announcements below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip.

  • Emergency Order 2-RF-4-17-24 reduced the bag and possession limit for a single species of rockfish to 2 per day, 4 in possession north of Outlet Cape and Dangerous Cape. This emergency order is in effect from Saturday June 1, 2024 through 11:59 pm. Tuesday, December 31, 2024.
  • Emergency Order 2-KS-4-16-24 closed the Karluk River drainage (including the lagoon and its outlet stream) and the Ayakulik River drainage to king salmon fishing and restricted fishing gear to only one unbaited, single-hook artificial lure through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, December 31, 2024.

Don’t forget to purchase your 2024 sport fishing license and king stamp! You can purchase and display your fishing license and king stamp, record your annual harvest (i.e. king salmon), access sport fishing regulations and locations, and so much more on your mobile device. Download the ADF&G Mobile App today. You can also purchase licenses through the ADF&G online store and print it off from the comfort of your own home. Make sure to review emergency orders, advisory announcements, and the 2024 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for the area you are fishing before you head out.

For additional information, please contact the ADF&G Kodiak Area Office at (907) 486-1880.