Sitka Alaska Fishing Report January, 2020

Reminder: Buy your new 2020 sport fishing license and king salmon tags prior to fishing in the new calendar year!

An excellent resource for planning a trip to Sitka is the gofishak interactive map which provides information on fishing locations, species run timing, fishing gear and angler access.

For further information, please feel free to contact the Sitka Area sportfish management staff at (907) 747-5355.

The next fishing report will be released in February.

Marine Fisheries:

New for 2020: All vessels must have at least one functional deepwater release mechanism on board and readily available for use when sport fishing activities are taking place. Persons sport fishing in marine waters when releasing rockfish (pelagic or nonpelagic), must use a deepwater release mechanism to return the fish to the depth it was hooked or to a depth of at least 100 feet.

King Salmon

Fishing is expected to be slow for king salmon during the winter months.


Sport Fishing for Halibut is closed. Halibut opens back up on February 1st.


Sport Fishing for Lingcod is closed.


Sport Fishing for Non-Pelagic Rockfish has been restricted for 2020 by emergency order. Retention of non-pelagic rockfish is prohibited for 2020. All non-pelagic rockfish must be released using a deep-water release device back to the depth it was captured or to a depth of at least 100 feet. It is recommeneded that rockfish caught at depths deeper than 100 feet be released at the same depth to increase probability of survival, especially larger non-pelagic rockfish like yelloweye.

Fishing for pelagic rockfish is still open and has been good.


2019 Southeast Alaska Sport/Personal Use shrimp permits must be returned or reported online at by January 15th, 2020.

Freshwater Fisheries:

Dolly Varden and Rainbow/Cutthroat Trout

Dolly Varden and trout can be targeted year-round. Sitka proper has a few streams and lakes that have resident species available such as Indian River, Thimbleberry lake and Heart Lake. Try using spinners, spoons, or flies mimicking juvenile salmon, leeches, or eggs/flesh.