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Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince of Wales Island
August 10, 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 good for coho salmon and bottom fish. Halibut, rockfish and lingcod are generally abundant in the marine waters, with additional resources such as crab and shrimp available.
Due to conservation concerns, the retention of king salmon is prohibited in all Southeast Alaska salt waters, including waters around Prince of Wales Island. This closure went into effect 12:01am, Thursday, August 10, 2017. All king salmon caught must be immediately released unharmed.
Coho salmon are present in the marine waters of Prince of Wales. Freshwater fishing for coho salmon will continue to improve through August and peak in mid-September. Most freshwater systems will have coho salmon. Good drainages for coho salmon include: Harris, Thorne and Klawock rivers and Staney Creek.
Red salmon begin entering Prince of Wales freshwaters in late June and continue through August with run timing varying between drainages. Drainages with red salmon include: Hatchery, Eagle and Ratz creeks and Thorne, Sarkar and Karta river drainages.
Pink and Chum Salmon
Pink and chum salmon are present in the marine waters of Prince of Wales. Good drainages for chum salmon fishing include Staney Creek and Harris River. Pink salmon will continue to enter freshwater drainages during August and will be present in most freshwater drainages. Pink salmon numbers appear to be below average this year.
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 will begin to feed on salmon eggs as salmon start to spawn in August. 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 provide good fishing in the marine waters surrounding Prince of Wales and good catches are occurring this summer.
- 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 provide good fishing in the marine waters surrounding Prince of Wales and good catches are occurring this summer.
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.
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
- Season: year round
- Five per day; ten in possession
- 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.
Southeast Outside Waters (west side of Prince of Wales)
- Nonpelagic rockfish fishing closed August 1 through August 21, 2017. All anglers fishing from a vessel in Southeast Outside waters during this time must have a functional deep water release mechanism on board (regardless of target species) and all anglers must release nonpelagic rockfish at depth of capture or at least 100 feet using a deep water release mechanism. For a description of the inside/outside boundary, please refer to news releases.
For further information, please feel free to contact the Prince of Wales Area Management Biologist: Craig Schwanke (907) 826-2498.