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Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince William Sound

September 08, 2017

Week of September 8 to September 15

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: Once you reach your daily limit of coho (silver) salmon (three fish) between August 15 to September 15, 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 salmon from the water before releasing it.
  •  From June 1 to September 30:
    • Cordova Terminal Harvest Area is CLOSED to snagging.
    • 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.
  • Ibeck Creek is closed to all sport fishing upstream from a point 3 miles above the Copper River Highway.
  • Power Creek and Eyak Lake in Cordova are CLOSED to salmon fishing year-round.
  • Cutthroat, rainbow, and steelhead trout fishing is OPEN. Anglers are reminded to check the Prince William Sound regulations on the legal size limit for retained trout in the area they are fishing.
  • 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.
  • The non-commercial Prince William Sound shrimp fishery closes on September 15, 2017. Please send in your harvest record or report it online if you are done shrimping for the year.
  • 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.

Freshwater Fishing


  • Water has been fluctuating a lot at all Cordova area streams.
  • Coho salmon fishing continues to be good on the lower portions of the Eyak River but water levels are still up. The area just below Eyak Lake is starting to be fishable but if more rain comes in it will cause clarity to decrease and water levels to go up making it unfishable again.
  • Bait continues to be the better option when water is murky and high (a boat is helpful too!).
  • Ibeck Creek fishing has been fair. After the rain subsides go upstream where the water becomes clearer and fishable sooner than after the rain.
  • Alaganik Slough fishing has improved. Floating the river has been the most productive for anglers. Anglers fishing downstream with bait have also been successful.
  • Coho are in at Fleming Spit Lagoon. Fishing should continue to pick up over the weekend. This is a good option to catch a coho in Cordova when water levels are high. Remember – no snagging on either side of the terminal harvest area!

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 egg patterns near spawning salmon or fry/smolt imitation flies or small spinners at lake outlets or stream confluences.
  • Don’t forget to try Thompson or Blueberry lakes just outside Valdez for some fun catchable sized rainbow trout and grayling! Flies produced best this week by slow stripping nymphs or small streamer patterns.
  • Lots of fun rainbow fishing in Ruth Pond too! Fish aren’t too picky right now!

Saltwater Fishing


  • Top fish in the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby were all right about 15 lbs.
  • Coho fishing at Fleming Spit in Cordova keeps getting better!
  • Fishing around the Sound is easier when there are not commercial openers happening…check here to get updates on when those are happening.
  • Coho fishing is good around Valdez. Fish are being caught around Allison Point and the harbors. Chartreuse Vibrax (size 5) was a good option for shore anglers.
  • Reminder: Whittier harbor is closed to snagging.

Halibut, Lingcod, Rockfish

  • Few lingcod are being reported caught. Weather has been a limiting factor.
  • Halibut are federally managed by NOAA. Make sure you know the regulations! Unguided and guided anglers have different rules to follow.
  • Weather has been making it difficult to get out to a lot of places in the Sound. Not too many bottom fish have been caught over the last week.
  • The Valdez Halibut Derby has ended with a top fish weighing in at 374 lbs.! This was the largest halibut ever caught in the history of the derby!
  • 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.


  • It’s the last week of shrimping!! Make sure you plan around the weather to get your pots out for the season. You will be cited if your pots are still in the water after the season closes.
  • Permit needs to be in possession as you are shrimping and harvest needs to be reported before your catch is concealed.
  • 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 by October 15.
  • If you believe your pots were stolen, MAKE SURE YOU NOTIFY THE TROOPERS!

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