Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince William Sound

Archived Sport Fishing Report

July 06, 2023

General Area Description: includes all waters between Cape Fairfield and Cape Suckling.

Freshwater Fishing

Trout/Dolly Varden/Arctic Char

  • Cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, or steelhead trout fishing opened to retention on June 15 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.
  • Pipeline lakes (Cordova) are a fun spot for catching cutthroat trout. It’s a nice short hike with lots of locations to try and cast a line.
  • Dolly Varden/Arctic char are open year-around with a bag and possession limit of 10 fish (no size restrictions). As salmon fry and smolt are moving around, try fishing near the creek mouths throughout Prince William Sound.


  • Sockeye fishing is improving in Alaganik Slough. Lots of sockeye salmon are in the Eyak River (in Cordova) and milling around the weir above the bridge. Water conditions have been improving.
    • 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.

Saltwater Fishing

Port sampling efforts are going on in both Whittier and Valdez. 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 fishing has been fair to good. Most anglers are picking up bigger fish further out near the entrances into Prince William Sound including Montague Strait, Hinchinbrook Entrance, and other passages. Try fishing around Perry Island if you want to stay in closer. Spending time anchored up with a chum bag can help increase your odds of catching a halibut.
  • Valdez Halibut Derby continues to have big fish come in. All of the top fish are over 100lbs with the leading fish weighing in at over 200lbs!


Lingcod season opened on July 1 and many anglers reported good success. Rocky pinnacles are a good place to target these fish. Try fishing a few feet off the bottom to avoid excess rockfish catches.


  • By emergency order, rockfish limits have been reduced to three fish per day, six in possession of which only one per day, one in possession can be a nonpelagic rockfish. Additionally, yelloweye rockfish may not be retained from May 1 to June 30. For rockfish species identification information visit our website.
  • Large schools of pelagic rockfish are typically found this time of year near the ocean entrances and coastal outside waters of Prince William Sound.
  • Yelloweye rockfish will be back open to retention on Saturday, July 1.
  • 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. Never heard of deepwater release? Check out our webpage for more info!

Other Finfish

Catches of Pacific (gray) cod have been good throughout Prince William Sound while targeting other saltwater species.


  • 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 2023, the limit is three pots per vessel but only two pots in areas in the vicinity of Whittier and Valdez. See emergency order 2-SHR-6-16-23 and the map that accompanies 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.
  • Shrimpers have reported that shrimping has improved producing better catch rates at deeper depths of 400’+. Pulling your pots every 4 - 6 hours is a good start when trying to find a productive location. Once you find a good spot, let your pots soak for 8-24 hours.


  • King salmon fishing in the saltwater has picked up. Fish are being caught near Cape Cleare (Montague Island) and catches around Crafton Island are picking up. Try trolling a large flasher with small to medium-sized herring. Kings should be present throughout Prince William Sound. Other places to start trying as these fish are moving into PWS are, Pigot Point (Whittier), near the south end of Culross Passage, Glacier Island (Valdez), and Orca Bay (Cordova).
    • King salmon fishing in Fleming Spit (in Cordova) has been good but is starting to slow down. Large spinners or bait such as herring or salmon roe are good options. Fishing around the high tide is your best bet.
      • Remember the Cordova Terminal Harvest Area is closed to snagging from June 1 - September 30.
    • Chum and sockeye salmon are around Ester Island and Port Wells with sockeye bound for the Coghill River. The Coghill River weir started operations and fish continue to move in.
    • Sockeye salmon fishing (snagging) at Main Bay hatchery has been good. This is a great place to pick up sockeye salmon but there are many other dynamics associated with this fishery anglers should be aware of.
      • In Main Bay, if you are in the area near the barrier seine net, please be cautious and don’t get your snagging hooks caught in the net or the buoy line marking the top of the net.
        • 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 feet distance from the barrier seine is typically marked with an additional line of buoys. The basic rule is don’t fish from your vessel beyond the first string of buoys you see. If you are motoring over the net, please also use extreme caution.
        • If you are fishing from shore, please use caution when casting and keep your snagging hooks away from the nets. Damage to these nets can cause long-term damage and affect the future of this fishery.
      • The cost-recovery seine boat operations have ended. Common property commercial fishing will open up throughout the season. For up to date on commercial openers, check the announcements here. Use caution if attempting to fish near commercial fishing drift gillnets.

Local Lakes

  • Blueberry and Thompson lakes and Ruth Pond (Valdez area) have been stocked with rainbow trout!
  • Blueberry Lake has been fishing great. Anglers that are fly fishing are enjoying catching the active Arctic grayling!

Emergency Orders

Please review the emergency orders and advisory announcements below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip.

  • Emergency Order 2-SHR-6-16-23 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. Friday, September 15, 2023.
  • Emergency Order 2-RF-6-21-23 reduced the rockfish bag and possession limits in Prince William Sound to three per day and six in possession of which only one per day, one in possession can be nonpelagic. In addition, from May 1 through June 30, 2023, yelloweye rockfish may not be retained.

Don’t forget to purchase your 2023 sport fishing license and king stamp! You can purchase your 2023 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 2023 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.


Prince William Sound Area Archives for:
Sep 21, 2023 Sep 14, 2023 Sep 07, 2023 Aug 30, 2023 Aug 17, 2023 Aug 16, 2023 Aug 08, 2023 Aug 03, 2023
Jul 27, 2023 Jul 20, 2023 Jul 13, 2023 Jul 06, 2023 Jun 28, 2023 Jun 23, 2023 Jun 14, 2023 Jun 08, 2023
Jun 01, 2023 May 25, 2023