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Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince William Sound
March through April Season
Don't forget: your fishing license expired Dec. 31! A sport fishing license makes a great gift -- lasts all year.
The sport fishing regulations are good through April 15 of the new year. Look for new booklets around March or early April.
(Neither the ADF&G Permanent ID license nor the ADF&G Disabled Veteran's license expire.)
Halibut fishing will still likely be slow, at least until mid-May. Most of the larger fish will still be far offshore.
Although the bag limit for rockfish remains at 10 through April 30, angler must still keep the first two non-pelagic rockfish they catch. Non-pelagic rockfish - such as yelloweye or copper rockfish need this additional protection because they rarely survive the change in pressure as they are brought to the surface. Rockfish are extremely long-lived fish, and are slow to reach sexual maturity. Overharvest would quickly reduce the number of mature fish available to spawn.
Small runs of herring return in mid-April to locations throughout the Sound. Herring is used as both a food fish and a bait fish. Look for schools, then try dipping a herring rig - 15 or fewer small, unbaited hooks on a single line - into the saltwaters near your favorite harbor.
"Winter" kings may be caught throughout the Sound, and in many near-shore salt waters of Alaska. Also called "feeder" kings, they are cruising the Sound, fattening up before returning to their home stream to spawn. Try using downriggers fishing 60 feet or deeper.
Look for king salmon to begin returning to their streams in mid-May.
Freshwater Fishing Opportunities
Dolly Varden fishing should start improving by late April. Try fishing the mouths of freshwater streams, where they empty into the Sound, or prospect along streams for deeper holes. Good bets are small silvery spinners or spoons, or any fly pattern that would imitate out-migrating salmon smolt.
Fishing for cutthroat trout will be fair throughout the Sound until the spawning season closure on April 15. The bag limit for trout in all waters other than the Special Management Area is 2 trout per day, 2 in possession of which only one per day and in possession may greater than 20 inches in length, all trout over 20 inches retained must be recorded immediately and only 2 fish over 20 inches per year may be retained.
Anglers are also reminded that the Copper River Delta "Special Management Area for Trout" has been established to protect unique stocks of trout east of the Copper River. Check the regulations for special restrictions and a description of the area.
Some nice stocked rainbow trout in the 6-8" range are caught from Blueberry Lake and Ruth Pond in Valdez. Grayling are stocked in Thompson Lake near Valdez. Both these aggressive feeders will go after small spinners or flies. Try an egg-sucking leech, Royal Coachman, or bead-headed Prince nymph.
The shrimp season opens April 15. Shrimp fishing is open until September 15th. Shrimp are primarily found in deep waters and often in inlets that have glacial inputs. Shrimp will begin to move into deeper waters as the fall season progresses.