Road Fishing in Kodiak Alaska
Image courtesy of the US Fish and Wildlife Service
Kodiak Alaska Road Fishing Information
Kodiak Road Zone fishing areas are simply those areas immediately in and around the town of Kodiak Alaska. Specifically it is defined as all fresh waters of Kodiak Island east of a line from Crag Point south to the westernmost point of Saltery Cove. This also includes the fresh waters of Woody, Long, and Spruce islands. Also, The Road System covers all salt waters bordering the Road System within one mile of Spruce and Kodiak islands. Those interested in fishing in this area will find that there is a pretty decent system of roadways that take anglers over several of the major waterways, although, Saltery Lake is accessible by 4x4 only. However, most of the roads are fully paved by asphalt or hard packed gravel.
Freshwater and Fly Fishing from Shore
People wanting to fish in the fresh waters of the Road System will find all five varieties of Salmon as well as Dolly Vardon, Rainbow Trout and Steelhead. The rivers covered by the Road System are the Buskin River, Saltery River, Pasagshak River, Old River and the American River as well as the Roslyn, Salonie, Monashka, Pillar and Chiniak Creeks. These rivers and streams have a lot to offer sports fisherman and have been regarded as a fisherman’s paradise. The rivers offer clear riffles with plenty of gravel bars and deep pools where the fish love to hide. It is recommended that you bring chest waders or hip boots so you can stand out in the water rather than on the bank. This helps ensure that the vegetation on either side of the water ways is preserved thereby maintaining the banks which help to slow the current to its easy pace as well as maintaining the shade the fish love.
If you don’t feel like river or creek fishing, the Road System leads to over 20 stocked lakes via these major water ways. There is a lot of fishing available for any angler. If however, you wish to fish in the ocean for King Salmon, many charter boats are available for hire and can take you out into the Monashka Bay to catch these exciting and aggressive fighters. Their runs go from June through July. A special King Salmon stamp must be purchased in addition to the fishing license and anglers are required to record the date, location and number of King Salmon they catch. King Salmon fishing is also available in at least two remote areas where a charter boat can take you, but more on that later. In any case, fishing for larger fish such as king salmon or Halibut requires special tackle, so it is recommended that you either charter a boat with a company that provides the gear, or, if you prefer to rent a boat and go out on your own, that you do some research on what kind of boat and gear would be required as well as have someone experienced with handling a boat out on the ocean.
Kodiak Road System Salmon Run Times and Rivers
Road System King Salmon: Trolling for King and Coho is also popular. Guides can take anglers out into the Chiniak Bay where up to 8,000 king salmon are harvested each year. They are usually around twenty pounds each, though larger fish have been caught. The best known fishing spots for King Salmon are Cape Chiniak and Buoy 4.
Road System Red Salmon: If you are looking for Sockeye Salmon, the best spots are found in the Buskin, Pasagshak and Saltery rivers. An average of 2,000 reds are harvested by sport fisherman per year in the Buskin River. Sockeye runs for the Buskin River peak around late June and are well over by mid July. For the Pasagshak river is a little later with its peak in late June and over by late July. The average sport harvest here is around 1,500 Sockeye. However, the biggest run for Sockeyes is in the Saltery River. As previously mentioned the only way to get here is either with a 4x4, ATV or a chartered float plane. The average sport harvest here is 42,000 a year, which is significantly higher than the other two rivers. The runs start in early July and peak in late July.
Road System Silver Salmon (Coho): Charters usually start trolling for Coho in the first week of July out in the Chiniak Bay and near Buoy 4. This usually peaks sometime in August and ends in September. Fishes caught out here average around 7 pounds though some up to twice that size are occasionally caught.
Silvers are also available in the fresh waters of the road system. These are typically the last to arrive in the river system for spawning. So, their runs begin in late August. The run peaks around mid September but continues to be profitable until around mid October when they enter their spawning stage. The best streams for freshwater Silver fishing are the Buskin, Pasagshak, Olds, and American rivers, and Saltery, Roslyn and Salonie creeks. Here annual escapages are in excess of 11,000 silvers per year. Additionally, due to the Pillar Creek Hatchery releasing silvers from the Buskin River into the Road System streams there is also decent silver fishing at Mill Bay, Mission and Monashka beach as well as May Flower Beach. This is a great opportunity, especially for those anglers that want some wild Alaska salmon late into the year.
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