Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince William Sound
Archived Sport Fishing Report
September 09, 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; however, from April 15 – June 14 only unbaited artificial lures or flies are allowed .
- 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 continuing to move into all of the Copper River Delta streams (Eyak River, Ibeck Creek, and Alaganik Slough). Water levels dropped for a few days but with all the rain coming they are on their way back up.
- Effective September 9th, the use of bait is NOT allowed in Copper River streams crossed by the Copper River Highway. In addition, the bag and possession limit has been reduced to 2 coho salmon per day and only 2 in possession. See the Emergency Order listed below.
- Remember, the following regulations are always in effect for Copper River Highway streams:
- From 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.
- Ibeck Creek is closed to all sport fishing upstream from a point 3 miles above the Copper River Highway.
- 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 from the water before releasing it.
- Alaganik Slough is starting to see more coho salmon move in. Remember that there is a lot of tidal influence in this system and anglers tend to do best when fishing as the tide comes in.
- A few coho salmon have been caught at Fleming Spit. Check this location out around the high tide for your chances at a coho salmon. Bag limits at Fleming Spit and the lagoon are 6 per day.
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.
- 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.
- The 2022 PWS shrimp season closes September 15th! 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.
- Harvest reports are due online by October 15.
- 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.
- 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).
- Fishing for pinks in Valdez has slowed down and coho fishing has picked up. Anglers report that it changes with the tides. Bring a variety of lures to try when targeting these fish.
- Anglers are still doing well catching limits of silvers both in the port and outside but it has slowed down further out as they are making their way into Valdez. Try both trolling and mooching.
- Silvers are continuing to move in closer to Whittier and into Passage Canal. Most anglers continue having luck by Pigot Point and Culross Island. Depths of 60’ have been a good starting point but try deeper if you aren’t having success. Also, give mooching a try for silvers if you want to mix it up.
Blueberry and Thompson lakes and Ruth Pond (Valdez area) were stocked again a few weeks ago with rainbow trout. Fishing has been good in both Blueberry and Thompson lakes but has been slower at Ruth Pond. Small sized flies and spinners both work well in these lakes.
Please review the emergency orders and advisory announcements below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip.
- Emergency Order 2-CS-6-66-22 removes the use of bait and reduces the coho salmon bag and possession limit to 2 fish per day, 2 in possession in all freshwater drainages crossed by the Copper River Highway from and including Eyak River to the Million Dollar Bridge. The decreased limit and bait restriction are in effect Friday, September 9, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, December 31, 2022.
- 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.