A 45.8-pound king sits on ice during Petersburg’s salmon derby in 2015. The community has not held a derby since 2017 because of low returns to the Stikine River and conservation measures to protect those kings. (Joe Viechnicki/KFSK)

Sport fishing for king salmon opens in one area near Petersburg Wednesday, June 1st.

The season opens for anglers targeting hatchery kings in the Wrangell Narrows and Blind Slough terminal harvest area. Through the end of July the bag and possession limit there is two kings larger than 28 inches and two smaller than 28 inches. That’s for both residents and non-residents seeking to catch fish returning to the Crystal Lake Hatchery on Mitkof Island.

Another hatchery area near City Creek in Frederick Sound opens Wednesday, June 15. Some Crystal Lake kings are also released there each year. The area has a bag and possession limit of just one king of any size.

In addition, other waters north and south of Petersburg are expected to open to chinook fishing June 15. But that doesn’t include district 8 in Frederick Sound and around the mouth of the Stikine River. That remains closed to retention of kings until July 15 to protect fish returning to the Stikine. The river is forecast to see its lowest return on record this year and managers have continued with strict conservation measures. Since 2018 poor returns have meant a sport fishing closure on most of the inside waters of the region for April, May and part of June.