Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince William Sound
September 07, 2018
General Area Description: includes all waters between Cape Fairfield and Cape Suckling. This area includes the major communities of Valdez, Whittier, and Cordova.
Regulation Reminders and Emergency Orders
- Anglers are reminded to review Emergency Orders and News Releases and the 2018 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for the Prince William Sound and the Copper River Delta Area before heading out on their next fishing trip.
- Per Emergency Order No. 2-SHR-6-05-18, effective April 15, 2018, the number of shrimp pots allowed to harvest shrimp in Prince William Sound was reduced from five pots per person with a maximum of five pots per vessel, to four pots per person with a maximum of four pots per vessel. This fishery will close on September 15.
- Per Emergency Order No. 2-RS-6-30-18, effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 7 through 11:59 p.m. Monday December 31, 2018, the Coghill River drainage sockeye salmon bag and possession limit has been increased to 12 fish per day, 24 in possession. In addition, the area closed to fishing adjacent to the Coghill River weir has been reduced to 50 feet.
- Copper River Highway streams:
- A coho salmon that is removed from the water must be retained and becomes part of the daily bag limit for the person who originally hooked the fish.
- A person may NOT remove a coho from the water before releasing it.
- From August 15-September 15: After harvesting a limit of coho salmon a person many not sport fish with bait for the rest of the day in these waters.
- Ibeck Creek is closed to all sport fishing upstream from a point 3 miles above the Copper River Highway.
- Cutthroat and rainbow/steelhead trout fishing is currently open but it closes annually from April 15 – June 14.
- Cordova Terminal harvest area is closed annually to snagging June 1 to September 30.
- Power Creek and Eyak Lake in Cordova are CLOSED to salmon fishing year-round.
- The Prince William Sound non-commercial shrimp fishery will close on September 15. Permits are mandatory for all non-commercial shrimp fisherman. Permits are available online, at local ADF&G offices, and at select vendors. Harvest reports may be submitted online or returned to the Anchorage ADF&G office.
- Lingcod season opened on July 1 and closes on December 31. The bag and possession limit is ONE per day and ONE in possession and must be 35 inches long with head attached or 28 inches from tip of tail to front of dorsal fin with head removed.
- The year-round rockfish regulation in Prince William Sound is a bag limit of four fish per day and possession limit of eight fish; however, only ONE fish can be a nonpelagic rockfish.
- The bag and possession limit of nonpelagic rockfish has changed to ONE in your bag limit and only ONE in your possession.
- The requirement to retain the first nonpelagic rockfish is no longer in regulation.
- Effective January 2020, the use of a deepwater release mechanism will be required to be onboard all vessels sportfishing in the Prince William Sound Management Area and they must be used to release rockfish at depth of capture or 100 feet, whichever is shallower.
- Coho salmon are being caught in the Cordova Highway streams. Ibeck Creek, Alaganik Slough, and Eyak River have all been producing fish. Fishing continues to be fair to good. Early morning anglers have better success as there has been no significant rain in over a week. Bait and spinners are both working well.
- Reminder: A person may not remove a coho from the water before releasing it. Currently, after harvesting a limit of coho salmon a person many not sport fish with bait for the rest of the day in these waters.
Trout, Dolly Varden, Grayling
- Cutthroat and rainbow/steelhead trout fishing is open. Try egg patterns around spawning salmon or small spinners.
- Pipeline lakes in Cordova are a great group of close lakes to catch cutthroat trout. Give Pipeline lakes 4 and 5 a try with some dry flies.
- Dolly Varden are present in many streams. Egg patters or beads work well in these streams with spawning salmon.
- Ruth Pond or Blueberry Lake near Valdez are great options for catchable-size rainbow trout.
- Coho salmon are slow to show up in Fleming Spit in Cordova.
- Pink and coho salmon are still around in Valdez. Pinks aren’t in good shape. Drop quick and deeper to get through these fish to get to coho salmon. Shore and boat fishing are both great right now!
- In Western Prince William Sound, coho salmon fishing has slowed. Still no significant reports of anglers catching cohos around Whittier.
- Reminder: Whittier harbor is closed to snagging.
Halibut, Lingcod, Rockfish
- Halibut are federally managed by NOAA. Make sure you know the regulations! Unguided and guided anglers have different rules to follow.
- Lingcod fishing opened July 1 and lots of nice fish have been caught this year. However, lingcod fishing has been slow to fair around Prince William Sound. Remember, bag limits in Prince William Sound have changed since last year! The bag and possession limit is only ONE fish per day and ONE in possession. The use of a gaff is not allowed unless you plan to retain lingcod you have caught.
- Rockfish can be caught easily year-round throughout Prince William Sound. Large schools of pelagic rockfish have been reported all over Southern Prince William Sound.
- Check the regulations as bag limits have changed! The daily bag and possession limit is now only ONE nonpelagic in Prince William Sound.
- Effective January 2020, the use of a deepwater release mechanism will be required to be onboard all vessels sportfishing in the Prince William Sound Management area and they must be used to release rockfish at depth of capture or 100 feet, whichever is shallower.
- 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%!
- Never heard of deepwater release for rockfish? Visit the ADF&G Rockfish Conservation webpage for additional information.
- Shrimp season closes on September 15 and it’s been a good year for non-commercial shrimp fishermen.
- Make sure you have proper markings on your buoy! See your permit for the required information.
- You may get your permit online but you must have a printed and signed copy with you while fishing. Permit needs to be in possession as you are shrimping, and harvest needs to be reported before your catch is concealed.
- Don’t forget to turn in your harvest report after the season closes on September 15 or whenever you wrap up for the season.
- IF YOU LOSE YOUR POTS, contact the Alaska State Troopers (AST) and report them immediately. You can reach AST dispatch at (907) 352-5401, Extension 1.
This is the last fishing report for the 2018 season. This fishing report will be updated when additional information is available. For current seasonal information, please contact the Anchorage office at (907) 267-2218.