Steelhead / Rainbow Trout Management and Research


In Alaska, rainbow and steelhead trout fisheries are managed to ensure sustainability and to maintain the diversity of recreational angling experiences. Daily bag and size limits are intentionally conservative to preserve wild rainbow and steelhead trout. Artificial lure-only regulations are commonly used to reduce angling mortality, and some waters have been designated as catch-and-release or trophy fisheries only. Anglers who wish to take rainbow primarily for the pan are encouraged to visit one of the hundred or more lakes stocked annually with Alaska rainbow trout.

Throughout Southeast Alaska the large minimum size limit for steelhead means that most of the steelhead caught will subsequently be released and anglers are encouraged to practice proper catch-and-release techniques to help protect and preserve this highly sought after and dynamic sport fish.


The State of Alaska monitors recreational rainbow and steelhead trout harvests through mail surveys, logbooks for the charter recreational fishery, and on-site sampling for biological and fishery characteristics. The United States Forest Service monitors subsistence harvests by compiling reported harvest on returned subsistence permits.

For more information see: Southeast Alaska Trout Research