Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince William Sound
Archived Sport Fishing Report
August 17, 2022
General Area Description
Includes all waters between Cape Fairfield and Cape Suckling.
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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-round with a bag and possession limit of 10 fish (no size restrictions).
- Coho salmon are moving into the Eyak River (in Cordova). Anglers were having some success casting spinners and fishing bait. However, all the rain (and more on the way) is making fishing very difficult. Bait will be your best option in these conditions.
- 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.
- Silver salmon fishing in Ibeck Creek is just getting started. Bait is best when the rains cause the Cordova area creeks to become high and turbid which is the current condition in the creek.
- Remember, Ibeck Creek is closed to all sport fishing upstream from a point 3 miles above the Copper River Highway.
- Regulation Reminders - Copper River Delta 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 may not sport fish with bait for the rest of the day in these waters.
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. If your anchored up in a bay for the night, drop a line, halibut are even getting caught in shallow waters further up in the bays.
- The Valdez Halibut Derby leading fish is still 170lbs. Many fish over 100lbs are still coming in. 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 sportfishing vessels in Alaska and they must be used to release rockfish back down to depth of capture or 100 feet, whichever is shallower. Ever 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 you are 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 (i.e. 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 fair to good. 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). Try casting pink spoons or spinners.
- The Valdez Silver Salmon derby has kicked off and the leading fish is now over 14lbs! Anglers are doing well catching limits of coho salmon out towards Glacier Island and near the Narrows. Coho fishing is still spotty for shore anglers in the Port, but a few fish are getting picked up at Allison Point.
- Silvers are continuing to move in closer to Whittier and Passage Canal. Most anglers are having luck by Pigot Point and Culross Island with some anglers still having success around Naked and Crafton Islands. Some lucky anglers are often able to pick up both coho and king salmon while out trolling. Depths of 40 – 60’ are a good start but try deeper if you aren’t having success. Also, give mooching a try for silvers if you want to mix it up.
- There are still some sockeye salmon moving into Eshamy Bay. The weir is still operational and fish are still moving past it daily. This is one of the last places you will have a good chance at picking up sockeye salmon in PWS.
Blueberry and Thompson lakes and Ruth Pond (Valdez area) were recently stocked again with rainbow trout so expect some good fishing! Blueberry Lake has been fishing great for rainbow and lake trout with small sized flies and 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) 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-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.
For additional information, please contact the Anchorage Area Office at (907) 267-2218.