Fishing in Indian River

Spawning male and female pink salmon underwater.
Male and female pink salmon.

NPS Photo/Ken Beck

Fishing within Sitka National Historical Park is permitted, however to protect the integrity of the Indian River and the crucial role it plays in the spawning and subsequent life cycles of various species, there are several regulations to follow if you choose to fish in the park.

Within park boundaries, there are several species that are found in the Indian River. Four species of Pacific salmon, Steelhead (or “Rainbow”) and Cutthroat Trout, and Dolly Varden all spawn here. For more information on the species and Freshwater Monitoring Quality project please see our information page on fish.

Fishing or taking (taking, pursuing, hunting, fishing, trapping or in any manner disturbing, capturing, or killing or attempting to take, pursue, hunt, fish, trap, or in any manner, capture or kill fish or game) of Pink salmon is not permitted between the Sawmill Creek Road bridge and the mouth of the Indian River. If one is caught accidentally, it must be released immediately.

Along with Pink salmon, fishing or taking of Chum and Coho salmon is also closed between the Sawmill Creek Road bridge and the mouth of the Indian River. King salmon may be taken, but they are extremely rare to find in the river. Other salmon species, which are also rare, are closed to fishing within the park’s established Indian River boundaries.

Please ensure if you do choose to fish, that you follow all state regulations for legal methods of capture, as well as the current state catch and size limits of various species, which are subject to change. All state regulations apply to fishing in the tidal flat area of the park as well.

All people fishing that are over the age of 16 need an Alaska state fishing license and need to carry it with them while fishing, or while intending to fish. If you are intending to fish for King Salmon, are a resident over the age of 18 or a non-residents over the age of 16, you will need a separate stamp. Law enforcement may check both licenses and equipment. For more information on Alaska state fishing license requirements and options please go to Alaska Department of Fish & Game's website.

Fishing remains an ongoing tradition, a part of life in Sitka since people have inhabited the area. Please fish responsibly, following the established regulations and with a license when necessary.

Last updated: September 11, 2017

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103 Monastery St.
Sitka, AK 99835


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