Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince William Sound
July 8, 2020
* Just a reminder to all our anglers, please do your part to help slow the spread of Covid-19 by following and reviewing the current State of Alaska Health Mandates in effect. This includes practicing social distancing while sport and personal use fishing and wearing a face covering when fishing and if you are needing fishing supplies from your local store as indicated in Health Alert 010.
General Area Description: includes all waters between Cape Fairfield and Cape Suckling.
Effective January 2020, 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 rockfish conservation webpage for more info!
Please review the Emergency Orders and Advisory Announcements below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip.
- Emergency Order 2-SHR-6-13-20 decreases the number of shrimp pots allowed to harvest shrimp in the Prince William Sound shrimp fishery to three pots per person with a maximum of three pots per vessel used to take shrimp.
- Sockeye salmon fishing has been good on the Eyak River with fish building at the lake outlet. Alaganik Slough is also seeing good numbers of fish moving in.
- Remember: Effective June 1 - September 30, Eyak River Special Regulations are in effect around the Eyak Lake dam/weir and highway bridge. Only single-hook, artificial flies with a gap of 3/8 inch or less between a point and shank are allowed AND no additional weight may be attached to the line.
- Over 20,000 sockeye salmon have passed the Coghill River weir. Remember that the waters within 300 feet of the fish weir are closed to sport fishing.
- King salmon fishing at Fleming Spit (in Cordova) improved but is starting to wind down. Fish continue to be caught in the salt water and some fish are milling around inside the lagoon. Fish the incoming tide with spinners or bait.
- Remember: Effective June 1 - September 30, no snagging is allowed in the Cordova Terminal Harvest area.
Trout/Dolly Varden/Arctic Char
- Cutthroat and rainbow trout fishing opened on June 15. Dolly Varden are present in many streams.
- Try fry/smolt imitation and olive streamer flies or small spinners.
- Blueberry and Thompson lakes and Ruth Pond were stocked at the beginning of June and are getting stocked again soon.
- Ruth Pond is a fun easily accessible location for kids right in Valdez to catch rainbow trout!
- Arctic grayling fishing can be good on Thompson Lake for anglers using smaller sized fly-fishing gear.
Port Sampling efforts in Whittier and Valdez are in full effect. Please assist our port sampling program by returning to the harbor with whole groundfish or groundfish carcasses and allowing ADF&G technicians to sample your harvest. Data collected from the sport fish 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 the Southcentral.
- Lingcod season opened on July 1. With the good weather many anglers were able to get out towards Seal Rocks and Wessel Reef and have good success!
- Remember to have a measuring tape with you! Try using large jigs just off of rocky pinnacles. Remember, the minimum size to retain a lingcod is 35 inches with the head attached (or 28 inches with the head removed). Do not use a gaff to puncture any fish you think you might release.
- When targeting lingcod your chances of catching rockfish are high. Make sure you have a deepwater release mechanism on board your vessel as this is now mandatory.
- Halibut fishing has been good when weather permits getting out further, but you don’t have to travel too far. Try around Perry, Naked, and Lone islands if you want to stay close. If you can get out further, Montague Strait and Elrington Island have been producing steady catches of halibut.
- The Valdez Halibut Derby started on May 23. The leading fish is over 200 lbs and this week new 2nd and 3rd place fish just under 200lbs are now on the board!
- Rockfish limits year-round are four fish per day, eight in possession of which only one per day, one is possession may be a nonpelagic rockfish. Check your 2020 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for species identification information.
- Chum and pink salmon are moving towards streams throughout the Sound.
- Sockeye salmon fishing has been great in Main Bay. Commercial openings this week could be on Thursday and next Monday. Best to stay clear when the commercial boats are in there.
- The Eshamy Bay run of sockeye salmon is later than Main Bay. Very few fish have moved into the lagoon. This location is usually better for sockeye salmon towards the end of July.
- Kings are milling around the Sound. Trolling or mooching in Passage Canal and Pigot Point has been production for some anglers. If you are out fishing by boat, try trolling 20 - 50 feet down with a small to medium sized herring and an oversized flasher.
- A few nice sized kings are getting picked up just outside the Whittier Boat Harbor. Remember, snagging is not allowed in the Whittier Boat Harbor.
- Pinks are still slowly rolling into Valdez. This should improve in the coming weeks. Allison Point is a good starting point to target pinks until more come in closer to town.
- Don’t forget to get your shrimp permit! The sport and subsistence shrimp season is currently open and will close on September 15, 2020. You are required to have your permit with you and document anytime you have pots in the water.
- After retrieval, you must record your catch on your permit immediately after you harvest shrimp.
- You can report your shrimp harvest online any time. Once the season closes you must report all of your harvest no later than October 15, 2020. **Harvest must be reported for each individual time you pull your pots.
- Shrimping has been good! There is no magic depth for shrimping. A good starting point would be in the 300-400’ range. Keep an eye out for good habitat such as rocky slopes.
- If your pots get lost or stolen please contact Alaska Wildlife Troopers (AWT).
- Valdez AWT 835-4307
- Cordova AWT 424-3184
- Whittier AWT 352-5401
Don’t forget to bring your 2020 sport fishing license and king stamp! Help maximize social distancing and purchase your 2020 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 and the 2020 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for the area you are fishing before you head out.
For additional information, please contact the Anchorage Area Office at (907) 267-2218.