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Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince William Sound
July 20, 2016
Prince William Sound and the
Copper River Delta Area
Week of July 20 to July 26
Issued July 20, 2016
General Area Description: includes all waters between Cape Fairfield and Cape Suckling.
Regulation Reminders and Emergency Orders
- Permits are mandatory for all non-commercial shrimp fisherman. Permits are available online or available at local Fish and Game offices and at select vendors.
- Cordova Terminal Harvest Area is closed to snagging salmon from June 1 – September 30.
- In Main Bay, sport fishing from a vessel that is within 60 feet of the Prince William Sound Aquaculture hatchery barrier seine, or from a vessel inside of the barrier seine is prohibited. Signs have been posted accordingly. The signs posted on either bank show the 60 foot line. Marker buoys may or may not be set 60 feet from the barrier seine.
- On the Eyak River beginning on June 1, only single-hook, artificial flies with a hook gap of 3/8 inch or less between point and shank are allowed from a point 200 yards upstream of Eyak Lake dam and to a point 200 yards downstream from the bridge at the outlet of Eyak Lake. No additional weight may be attached to the line when fishing in this area.
- Lingcod season is OPEN until December 31. Limits are 2 per day, 4 in possession. Fish must be a minimum of 35 inches or longer with head attached OR 28 inches or greater in length with the head removed. Don’t forget your measuring tape!
- Ibeck Creek is closed to all sport fishing upstream from a point 3 miles above the Copper River Highway.
- Coho should be arriving any day now at Fleming Spit in Cordova. Let us know if you hear of anyone being successful.
- Remember: a coho salmon that is removed from the water must be retained and becomes part of the daily bag limit of the person who originally hooked the fish. A person may not remove a coho salmon from the water before releasing it.
- Sockeye salmon are making their way up into Eshamy Lake now and numbers of fish should be increasing.
- Sockeye fishing is starting to slow in Eyak River. Anglers are having to put in more time at the weir to catch fish. Remember: salmon fishing is not allowed in Eyak Lake. Signs marking the upper limits of the fishing area are located approximately 200 yards above the weir.
- Sockeye fishing at Coghill River and lake is still slow as returns of sockeye salmon to this location are still lower than previous years to date. A jump in numbers of fish into the river was observed over the weekend but still lower numbers when compared to historical returns.
- Pink salmon numbers observed at the ADF&G Coghill River weir are currently above average.
- A few chum salmon are being caught in Hartney Creek.
- Reminder: Power Creek in Cordova is closed to salmon fishing year-round.
Trout, Dolly Varden, Grayling
- Cutthroat and rainbow/steelhead trout fishing opened on June 15th. Try small spinners or nymph type flies.
- Dolly Varden are present in many of the streams throughout Prince William Sound and the Copper River Delta. Use fry/smolt imitation flies or small spinners at lake outlets or stream confluences. Anglers are reminded to check the Prince William Sound regulations on the legal size limit for retained trout in the area they are fishing.
- Ruth Pond and Blueberry Lake were recently stocked with catchable size rainbow trout. Fishing at both locations has been great and fun for kids!
Halibut, Lingcod, and Rockfish
- Halibut anglers had mixed reports this week. Weather kept some anglers from traveling out to the ocean entrances for big fish but success was had by many anglers throughout the Sound.
- Top fish caught last week in the Valdez halibut derby were in the 130lb range.
- Cordova anglers reported good catches of smaller halibut close to town.
- Lingcod fishing opened on July 1st. Successful catches of lingcod continue to be reported. If you start getting into too many rockfish --who also enjoy the step rocky ridges and reefs--move to a new location and use a deepwater release mechanism once you have reached your bag limit of rockfish.
- REMEMBER if you are targeting multiple species, target rockfish last, and use a deepwater release mechanism on all released rockfish (these devices can turn the chance of survival for a rockfish from near zero to near 100%!)
What’s deepwater release?
- Hatchery king salmon are still around Passage Canal and jumping right in Whittier boat harbor. Remember: Whittier harbor is closed to snagging.
- Pink salmon fishing was good around Valdez over the holiday weekend. Lots of pinks reported at Allison Point! Pixies, spinners, and vibrax are all good options.
- Sockeye are still in Main Bay. Fishing around Main Bay is easier when there are not commercial openers happening…. check here to get updates on when those are happening http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=cfnews.main A better option would be to move over to Eshamy Bay to target reds.
- A few silvers were reported to be picked up outside of Main Bay.
- Shrimping continues to be productive throughout the Sound. Look for good habitat and depths in the 400-500’ range to set pots in to improve your success rate. Rocky terrain with steep drop offs are a good one to look for on charts. Don’t forget your shrimp permit. Permit needs to be in possession as you are shrimping. Also, remember that each vessel can only fish 4 pots.