Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince William Sound
Archived Sport Fishing Report
July 21, 2022
General Area Description
Includes all waters between Cape Fairfield and Cape Suckling.
ADF&G is mobile. You can purchase and display your fishing license and king stamp, record your annual harvest (i.e. king salmon, halibut), access sport fishing regulations and locations, and so much more on your mobile device. Download the ADF&G Mobile App today.
Trout/Dolly Varden/Arctic Char
- Cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, or steelhead trout fishing is open with a bag and possession limit of two fish between 11 to 16 inches.
- Bait is allowed during this time. Anglers may use bait, artificial lures, and flies.
- If you’re in Cordova, Pipeline lakes are a fun spot for catching cutthroat trout. It’s a nice short hike with lots of locations to try.
- Dolly Varden/Arctic char are open year-around with a bag and possession limit of 10 fish (no size restrictions).
- Sockeye salmon fishing in the Eyak River (in Cordova) has slowed down, but coho salmon should start showing up in the Eyak any day now.
- Remember effective June 1 - September 30, Eyak River Special Regulations are in effect. From a point 200 yards upstream from the Eyak Lake dam/weir to a point 200 yards downstream from the bridge at the outlet of Eyak Lake only single hook, artificial flies with a hook gap of 3/8 inch or less between point and shank are allowed. In addition, no additional weight may be attached to your line.
- Alaganik Slough in Cordova continues to produce catches of sockeye salmon.
- Anglers are still reporting good catches of sockeye salmon on the Coghill River. As of July 17, the Coghill River had passed 34,092 sockeye salmon. Coghill River bag limits for sockeye salmon have increased to 12 per day, 24 in possession. In addition, anglers may now fish within 50 feet of the Coghill River weir. The Coghill River weir has concluded its sockeye counts for the season, but still remains in the river. You can check the Fish Counts from this season to see how many fish had moved through the weir. Please stay off of the fish weir and look for signs that mark the 50-foot distance.
Port sampling efforts are underway in Valdez and in Whittier. Please assist our port sampling program by returning to the harbor with whole groundfish or carcasses and allowing ADF&G technicians to sample your harvest when requested. Data collected from the sport harvest is needed to manage and maintain healthy fisheries. We appreciate you supporting the port sampling program and your assistance in getting managers information that aids in managing fisheries in Southcentral.
- Halibut catches have been fair to good for anglers. Fishing out towards Montague Island has been producing more consistent catches of halibut, but fishing has improved inside Prince William Sound. Those staying inside the sound are having best success when soaking a chum bag and waiting a couple hours. Try fishing off rocky areas in mud bottoms in depths of 200-400 foot but don’t rule out fishing in shallower depths as this can also be productive, especially in the late summer.
- The Valdez Halibut Derby leading fish is 170lbs! Many fish over 100lbs were brought in over the past few weeks. This derby runs into early September.
- Rockfish limits year-round are four fish per day, eight in possession of which only one can be a nonpelagic rockfish. Check your 2022 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for species identification information.
- The use of a deepwater release mechanism is required on all sport fishing vessels in Alaska and they must be used to release rockfish back down to depth of capture or 100 feet, whichever is shallower. Never heard of deepwater release? Check out our webpage for more info!
- Lingcod season opened on July 1 and anglers are having good success in the Gulf. Rocky pinnacles are a good place to target these fish. Try fishing a few feet off the bottom or with larger jigs to avoid excess rockfish catches. Further out towards Point Elrington is a good area to try for both lingcod and halibut if your able to get out that far.
- Don’t forget to get your PWS shrimp permit! The sport and subsistence shrimp season opened on
April 15 and will close on September 15. You are required to have your permit with you and document any time you have pots in the water.
- In 2022, the limit is three pots per vessel but only two pots in areas in the vicinity of Whittier and Valdez. See the emergency order below and the map that comes with your permit for area specifics.
- Don’t forget you must record your catch on your permit prior to leaving the site or concealing your catch.
- Looking for a good starting depth? Try dropping your pots in the 300-400’ range. If your new to shrimping setting pots for a few hours and then checking them to see what your catching is a good idea. If you’re not catching, try a different depth or location.
- Shrimpers are allowed to carry additional pots on their vessel, but those pots cannot be fished while shrimping even if they are targeting a different species (e.g. octopus).
- Harvest reports are due online by October 15. You can keep up on your harvest report throughout the season. We suggest entering your harvest data after each trip you take. Once the season closes you have 30 days to get all of your harvest reported.
- Harvest must be reported for each individual time you pull your pots and include your date, location, soak time, number of pots and your harvest report in gallons of whole shrimp. If you fail to report your harvest by October 15, 2022, you will not be able to get a permit in 2023.
- Pinks are in Valdez! Fishing for pinks from shore has been good to excellent. An Emergency Order increasing the bag limit to 12 pink salmon per day and 24 fish in possession in the vicinity of Valdez has gone into effect (see below). With the Valdez Kid’s Pink Salmon Derby on July 23 this is a great opportunity to get youth anglers out fishing. Try casting pink spoons or spinners.
- Some pink salmon have been reported in the Whittier area including the mouth of Cove Creek.
- Most king salmon are still getting picked up out by Cape Cleare and Montague Island for those venturing out further and spending time. Crafton Island is also a good spot to check out.
- Sockeye salmon are starting to show up in Eshamy Bay in decent numbers. Fishing should only continue to improve in the upcoming weeks.
- Sockeye salmon fishing in Main Bay hatchery has been fair to good. This is a great place to pick up sockeye salmon but remember to keep an eye on the commercial fisheries announcements for this area. Things get crowded when commercial openers are occurring in the area. Also, the cost recovery boat could be in the area at any time. It’s best to provide some space for this operation when they are actively seining.
- Remember you are not allowed to fish from a vessel within 60 feet of the barrier seine which is the buoys you see stretched across closest to the hatchery. The 60-foot distance from the barrier seine is typically marked with an additional line of buoys. Basic rule is don’t fish from your vessel beyond the first string of buoys you see.
Blueberry and Thompson lakes and Ruth Pond (Valdez area) were recently stocked again with rainbow trout so expect some good fishing! Ruth Pond is a great place to take the kids and Thompson Lake is a good spot to target Arctic grayling with small sized flies or spinners.
Please review the emergency orders and advisory announcements below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip.
- Emergency Order 2-PS-6-52-22 increases the pink salmon bag and possession limit to 12 fish per day, 24 in possession in a portion of the Valdez Terminal Harvest area. Freshwater salmon closures remain in effect for Port Valdez. The increased limit is effective for all marine waters north of line from Entrance Point to Potato Point (Valdez Narrows) from 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 15 through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, December 31, 2022. This regulatory liberalization change does not change the bag and possession limit for coho salmon. Only six salmon per day and 12 in possession can be coho salmon.
- Emergency Order 2-RS-6-43-22 increases the sockeye salmon bag and possession limit to 12 fish per day, 24 in possession in the Coghill River drainage. In addition, the area closed to fishing adjacent to the Coghill River weir is now 50 feet effective through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 31, 2022. The limit for other salmon, except king, coho, and sockeye salmon, remains at six per day, 12 in possession.
- Emergency Order 2-SHR-6-18-22 reduced the number of shrimp pots allowed to harvest shrimp in the Prince William Sound noncommercial shrimp fishery. The pot limit per person and per vessel has been reduced to three pots; however, of those three pots only two pots can be set in areas of historical high effort including areas near the Port of Valdez, near the Port of Whittier, and in portions of Port Wells and Culross Passage. This emergency order is in effect through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, September 15, 2022.
Don't forget to purchase your 2022 sport fishing license and king stamp! Purchase your 2022 sport fishing license and king stamp through the ADF&G online store and print it off from the comfort of your own home. Also, make sure to review emergency orders, advisory announcements, and the 2022 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for the area you are fishing in before you head out.