Some Coho Being Caught In Haines/Skagway-area Rivers

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

Haines/Skagway Fishing Report

September 27, 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

Coho (Silver) Salmon

The Chilkat River fish wheels have seen an average run of coho salmon so far this fall. Coho salmon fishing picks up in late September on the Chilkoot River and in early October on the Chilkat River.

The best conditions for coho salmon fishing in the Chilkat and Chilkoot River are when the weather is cool, which slows silty glacial melt, and when the river water level is stable or dropping. Check the National Weather Service Chilkat River hydrograph to see the water level in the past week and predicted water level in the next 3 days.

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

Fishing in Bear Country

Anglers on the Chilkoot River should keep an eye out for bears moving up and down the river foraging for fish. Steps that anglers should take to avoid bear problems are:

  • Stop fishing if a bear approaches

If a bear approaches within 100 yards while you have a fish on the line, give the fish slack or cut the line.

  • Secure your catch

Keep your catch close to you or secure your catch in a bear-resistant container, such as a vehicle. Food coolers outside a vehicle are not bear-resistant. Also secure your tackle box and fishing gear.

  • Stop, chop, and throw

When filleting your catch, chop the carcass in small pieces and throw them into deep or fast-moving water so they are not accessible to bears.

Salt Water Fishing


Halibut fishing has been good in upper Lynn Canal as they follow salmon migrating to the Chilkoot and Chilkat Rivers.


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.

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.