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Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince of Wales Island

October 03, 2017

Prince of Wales Sport Fishing

The sport fishing opportunities are numerous on Prince of Wales with productive marine waters surrounding the island and a vast road system to access a large number of rivers, creeks and lakes. Currently fishing in marine waters is poor for salmon and fair for bottom fish. Halibut, rockfish and lingcod are generally abundant in the marine waters, with additional resources such as crab and shrimp available.

King Salmon

Sport fishing for king salmon reopened October 1 with a resident bag limit of 2 king salmon per day, 28 inches or greater. Nonresident bag limit is 1 king salmon per day with an annual limit of 3, 28 inches or greater.

Coho Salmon

Very few coho salmon are still present in the marine waters of Prince of Wales as most have entered freshwaters.  Coho salmon are present in most freshwater systems, and fishing is good. Coho fishing should remain good through October with fish transitioning from silver to spawning coloration. Good drainages for coho salmon include: Harris, Thorne and Klawock rivers and Staney Creek.

Red Salmon

Red salmon began entering Prince of Wales freshwaters in late June and continued through September with run timing varying between drainages. Red salmon are currently spawning. Drainages with red salmon include: Hatchery, Eagle and Ratz creeks and Thorne, Sarkar and Karta river drainages.

Pink and Chum Salmon

Pink salmon are currently abundant and spawning in most freshwater drainages. Chum salmon are spawning as well.

Trout and Dolly Varden

Rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and Dolly Varden are available in many of the freshwater drainages of Prince of Wales Island and are feeding on salmon eggs. Productive drainages include: Klawock, Luck and Sarkar lakes, the Thorne River and Ratz Creek. Regulations regarding size limits, bag limits and the use of bait can vary by waterbody, so please check pages 27 and 28 of the 2017 Southeast Alaska Sport Fish Regulation Summary.

Halibut

Halibut provide good fishing in the marine waters surrounding Prince of Wales and good catches are possible in the fall.

  • Season: February 1- December 31
  • Unguided anglers may catch and retain two halibut per day- no size limit, 4 in possession
  • Charter vessel anglers may catch and retain one halibut per day, which must be less than or equal to 44 inches or greater than or equal to 80 inches in total length. Unguided anglers may retain two halibut of any size.
  • Charter operators and crew members may not retain halibut while clients are on board the vessel.

Lingcod

Lingcod provide good fishing in the marine waters surrounding Prince of Wales and good catches can occur in the fall.

Southern Southeast (Prince of Wales) area

  • Season: May 16 – November 30
  • Resident – one daily two in possession, no size limit.
  • Nonresident – one daily, one in possession, size limit: 30 inches or greater in length and less than 45 inches in length, or 55 inches or greater in length. Annual limit of 2 fish, one of which is 30 to 45 inches in length, one of which is 55 inches or greater in length, nonresident anglers shall immediately record, in ink, all lingcod harvested either on the back of their sport fishing license or on a nontransferable harvest record.
  • Charter operators and crew members may not retain lingcod while clients are on board the vessel.

Rockfish

Pelagic and non-pelagic rockfish provide good fishing in the marine waters surrounding Prince of Wales year round. For additional information regarding rockfish identification and management please refer to rockfish conservation on the ADF&G Sport Fish website.

All Prince of Wales Waters

Pelagic Rockfish

  • Season: year round
  • Five per day; ten in possession

Non-pelagic Rockfish

  • All non-pelagic rockfish caught must be retained until the daily bag limit is reached.
  • Resident - One non-pelagic rockfish daily; possession limit of one fish.
  • Nonresident - One non-pelagic rockfish daily; possession limit of one fish; with an annual limit of one yelloweye rockfish.
  • Nonresident anglers must immediately record yelloweye rockfish harvested, in ink, either on the back of their sport fishing license, or on a nontransferable harvest record.
  • Persons sport fishing from a charter vessel when releasing non-pelagic rockfish, (e.g. after an angler reaches their bag limit), must be in possession of, and utilize a deep water release mechanism to return the fish to the depth it was hooked or to a depth of at least 100 feet.
  • Charter operators and crew members may not retain non-pelagic rockfish while clients are on board the vessel.

Regulation summaries and copies of the news releases are available at the Craig ADF&G office.

For further information, please feel free to contact the Prince of Wales Area Management Biologist: Craig Schwanke (907) 826-2498.

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