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Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince William Sound
August 17, 2017
Week of August 17 to August 23
General Area Description: includes all waters between Cape Fairfield and Cape Suckling.
Regulation Reminders and Emergency Orders
- CORDOVA STREAMS crossing the Copper River Highway from Eyak River to the Million Dollar Bridge: from August 15 - September 15, once you reach your daily limit of coho salmon (3 fish), you may not fish with bait in any of these streams for the remainder of the day. 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 (silvers) salmon from the water before releasing it.
- Cordova Terminal Harvest Area is closed to snagging from June 1 - September 30.
- Effective June 1, on the Eyak River only single-hook, artificial flies with a hook gap of 3/8 inch or less between point and shank are allowed from a point 200 yards upstream of Eyak Lake dam and to a point 200 yards downstream from the bridge at the outlet of Eyak Lake. No additional weight may be attached to the line when fishing in this area.
- Per Emergency Order No. 2-SHR-6-11-17, the number of shrimp pots allowed to harvest shrimp in Prince William sound was reduced from five pots per person with a maximum of five pots per vessel, to four pots per person with a maximum of four pots per vessel.
- Lingcod season opened July 1. Daily limit is two per day, two in possession, and minimum 35 inches long with head attached or 28 inches with head removed. A gaff may not be used to puncture the fish if the intent is to release it.
- Cutthroat, rainbow, and steelhead trout fishing opened June 15.
- Ibeck Creek is closed to all sport fishing upstream from a point 3 miles above the Copper River Highway.
- LOTS of pink salmon are in at Fleming Spit. A few cohos have been reported.
- Lots of chum and pink salmon are in Hartney Bay.
- A decent number of coho salmon are making their way up Eyak River. The best fishing can still be found down river. Remember: Eyak Lake is CLOSED to salmon fishing.
- Ibeck Creek is starting to see more fish showing up. Anglers are giving it a shot but water levels and clarity are not ideal.
- Alaganik Slough has also had a few reports of cohos.
- Remember this regulation for the Copper River Highway streams: 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 salmon from the water before releasing it.
- Reminder: Power Creek in Cordova is closed to salmon fishing year-round.
Trout, Dolly Varden, Grayling
- Cutthroat, rainbow, and steelhead trout fishing in the Cordova area opened June 15. Pipeline Lake makes for a great family outing to catch cutthroat.
- Dolly Varden are present in many of the streams throughout Prince William Sound and the Copper River Delta. Try using fry/smolt imitation flies or small spinners at lake outlets or stream confluences.
- Don’t forget to try Ruth Pond or Blueberry Lake for some fun catchable sized rainbow trout action.
- Valdez Silver Salmon Derby fish have ranged from 12-14lbs this week. Most folks are still traveling just outside the port to get limits. The derby ends on September 3.
- The winner of the Women’s Silver Salmon Derby took the 2nd place slot in the overall derby and was just under 14lbs.
- Pink salmon are being caught at Fleming Spit from the shore. Coho salmon are likely mixed in with the pinks. Most anglers are using hardware to catch fish. Remember: the Cordova Terminal Harvest Area is closed to snagging salmon from June 1 - September 30.
- Eshamy Bay is seeing good numbers of sockeye.
- Anglers have reported success trolling for cohos outside of Main Bay and the Crafton Island area. Some reports of fish being picked up in Passage Canal as well. Still a lot of pinks around.
- Fishing around the Sound is easier when there are not commercial openers happening…. check here to get updates on when those are happening.
- Pink salmon are being caught around Allison Point. A few cohos have been reported but most are being caught further out of the Port.
- Pinks are jumping near the Whittier harbor.
- Reminder: Whittier harbor is closed to snagging.
Halibut, Lingcod, Rockfish
- Retention of lingcod began July 1. Mixed reports continue to come in with some anglers finding legal lingcod to bring home while others having difficulty finding any fish.
- Halibut are federally managed by NOAA. Make sure you know the regulations! Unguided and guided anglers have different rules to follow.
- Halibut were much smaller this last week in the Valdez Halibut Derby compared to the prior week’s 374 lb. fish! Weather was so-so for anglers last week but the upcoming forecast for the Sound looks decent.
- Rockfish can be caught year round throughout Prince William Sound. Bag limits starting May 1 - September 15, are four per day, eight in possession of which only two may be non-pelagic.
Fishing Tip: Brush up on your rockfish identification before you head out by reviewing page 90 of the 2017 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet.
REMEMBER if you are targeting multiple species, target rockfish last and use a deepwater release mechanism on all released rockfish. These devices can turn the chance of survival for a rockfish from near zero to near 100%! Never heard of deepwater release for rockfish??? For details, see the ADF&G Rockfish Conservation and Deepwater Release webpage.
- Shrimp season opened April 15. Good catches are still being reported with both deep and shallow sets. Be sure to make sure you have enough line when setting your pots!
- You are encouraged to get your permit online but you must have a printed and signed copy with you while fishing. Permit needs to be in possession as you are shrimping and harvest needs to be reported before your catch is concealed.
- Don’t forget to record when you drop your pots in the water the first trip out and remember only four pots are allowed per vessel in 2017.
- Don’t forget you can report your harvest online during the season at any time! If you are done shrimping for the season, go ahead and submit your harvest report now. Remember your harvest report is due after the season closes on September 15.