King Salmon Fishing Remains Open in Much of Southeast Alaska

Despite closures for Cook Inlet, areas like the west side of Prince of Wales Island will remain open for king salmon.
King salmon
King salmon, like this, can still be targeted by anglers in much of southeast Alaska this season. Courtesy Waterfall Resort

While the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is closing sport fishing for king salmon in all Cook Inlet marine waters effective May 15 through July 31, fishing for kings in the much of the southeast waters of the state will remain open this summer.

ADF&G detailed the closures in a press release:

In favor of protecting early-run and late-run Cook Inlet king salmon and ensuring sport fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is closing sport fishing for king salmon, including catch-and-release, in all Cook Inlet salt waters north of the latitude of Bluff Point (59° 40.00′ N. lat.). King salmon incidentally caught while fishing for other fish may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately. This regulatory change is effective 12:01 a.m. Monday, May 15 through 11:59 p.m. Monday, July 31, 2023. This change does not affect fishing for other species, including halibut. Other restrictions, including conservation zone closures to all fishing, will remain in effect. Please review pages 73 through 75 of the Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulation Summary booklet for those regulations.

— Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Sport-fishing operations such as the famed Waterfall Resort on Prince of Wales Island near Ketchikan are anxious to get the word out to visiting anglers. The 2023 sportfishing season at Waterfall Resort, Alaska, is opening June 1, according to a statement released this week.

“The ADF&G has confirmed that the west side of Prince of Wales Island is open with chinook (aka king salmon) limits similar to last year,” the statement read. Specifically, according to Waterfall, resident bag and possession limit will be two king salmon per day for Alaska residents, and one king, 28 inches or longer, for non-residents, with seasonal possession limit per guest as follows:

  • June: 3 king salmon
  • July 1-15: 2 king salmon
  • July 16-September: 1 king salmon

“The salmon return to Waterfall Resort and our waters off the west side of Prince of Wales Island each spring, lasting into August,” said the statement. “This year is no different. We’re so confident, we’ll pay for your travel insurance. Watch for more detail about that in the coming weeks.”

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