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Sport Fish Area Fishing Report
Prince William Sound
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By mid- to late May, hatchery-stocked king salmon start to show up in Fleming Spit (Cordova), and in the marine waters near Valdez. Valdez has only recently been stocked with king salmon smolt (1999), so the runs there are not quite established, but get stronger each year. Look for these king runs to build through the month of May, and peak in mid-June. Anglers looking for fresh king salmon also often have success trolling for "feeder" kings. Red salmon also make their appearance by mid-May, especially in the Eyak River (Cordova) and Main Bay (western Sound).
When the weather cooperates, early to mid-May can see some nice halibut catches in the 20- 30-pound range throughout the Sound. Larger fish are usually found nearer the end of May. Weather permitting; larger boats often target halibut in ocean entrances of the Sound near Hinchinbrook Entrance and Montague Straits. Nearer to home ports: Passage Canal, Wells Passage, Knowles Head are popular places to jig. Remember, it is illegal to fish for, or harvest, lingcod until July 1. All lingcod incidentally caught must be landed only by hand or with a landing net and released immediately. Fishing for rockfish is also good in May. From May 1-Sept. 15, the limits are 5 rockfish per day/ 10 in possession, of which no more than 2 per day/ 2 in possession may be non-pelagic rockfish. Anglers must retain the first two non-pelagic rockfish they catch.
Opportunities in May for Dolly Varden should be good throughout Prince William lakes and streams, especially at ice-out. Try a dry fly at the water's edge, or casting a lure with some silver flash to imitate salmon fry and smolt. Sport Fish Division stocks rainbow trout catchables in Blueberry Lake and Ruth Pond near Valdez. Grayling are also stocked in Thompson Lake near Valdez. Fishing for cutthroat trout is closed from April 15- June 14 to protect spawning fish. The Copper River Delta Special Management Area for Trout has been established to protect unique stocks of trout east of the Copper River.
Fishing for shrimp opens on April 15, and catches are highly variable depending on location fished. Clamming is generally good throughout the Sound. A free permit is required before razor clamming near Cordova.
Management and Research Programs
Starting in late May, the Division of Sport Fish will continue its port sampling program in the Valdez and Whittier harbors. The information you provide is used to manage the fisheries for the maximum benefit of increasing numbers of users. Contact Barbi Failor in Homer at 235-1731 for additional information.