Alaska Department of Fish and Game
2030 Sea Level Drive #205
Ketchikan, Ak 99901
The Ketchikan management area includes the islands of Revillagigedo, Gravina, Annette, and Duke – as well as the U.S. mainland to the east, from the middle of Cleveland Peninsula south to Portland Canal. Prince of Wales Island lies to the west, separated from the Ketchikan area by lower Clarence Strait.
Forested mountains as high as 4,000 feet and vast areas of open muskeg are the prevailing landscape. Evergreens dominate the forest-Sitka spruce, western hemlock, western red cedar and Alaska-cedar. Coastal areas are rocky and rugged, and small islands dot the waterways. The outer islands form a protective barrier for inside waters against the open ocean.
Scattered throughout the area are dozens of small streams and lakes. Larger river systems, from 30 to 50 miles long, extend from British Columbia into Alaska: the Unuk and Chickamin rivers flow into East Behm Canal, and the Salmon River empties into Portand Canal near Hyder, Alaska.
Marine waters of the Ketchikan area support catchable populations of all five species of Pacific salmon, halibut, lingcod, Pacific cod, greenling, herring, and several common species of rockfish. Mature Chinook (king) salmon weighing up to 60 pounds are present from late April through June, with peak availability in June. Enhancement efforts involving coho stocking have occurred primarily in the Ketchikan area at Neets Bay, Whitman Lake, Deer Mountain, and Tamgas Creek hatcheries. Other fish found in area streams and lakes are steelhead, rainbow, and cutthroat trout, Dolly Varden, and Arctic grayling.
The Alaska Hunting Regulations handbook is printed annually in June. The handbook contains information on general seasons, registration hunts, and bag limits. The handbook provides information on the kind of tag (e.g., harvest, registration, Tier II permit) you will need to take game. In the handbook you will also be able to find which hunts are open to nonresidents or residents only.
If you hunt in a general season hunt, i.e., a hunt that is open to an unlimited number of hunters, you will need a harvest ticket. Harvest tickets are available at no cost where hunting licenses are sold. Non-residents are required to possess a big game tag for the species they are hunting. Some remote rural areas may not have licenses available or the vendor may run out of harvest tickets. Be sure to purchase your license and game tags, and pick up harvest tickets, before you leave home or a population center.
If marine mammals, wolf, and wolverine are considered, Alaska has over a dozen species of big game animals. In addition small game and waterfowl hunting opportunities abound in an area spread across 365,000,000 acres an area one-fifth the size of the entire United States. Big game densities are generally much lower than you are probably used to in more southern states. Many big game species here make long movements between seasonal ranges. The key to successful big game hunting in Alaska is in doing your homework to determine both the best areas and times to hunt the species you are seeking.