Prince William Sound Management Area
Fishing Research

Analysis of Chinook Salmon Sport Harvests in Prince William Sound

Chinook salmon have been stocked in Prince William Sound since 1981 at various locations. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) started conducting stocking programs in the 1980s, as did Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation (PWSAC) in the 1990s. Since 1999, ADF&G has released Chinook salmon smolt in Cordova, Valdez, and Whittier. Anywhere from 43,000 – 150,000 fish have been released on a given year. Releases in Cordova have occurred near annually and releases in Valdez were discontinued in 2013 until a better imprint site could be identified. In Whittier, the Chinook stocking program was terminated from 2005 - 2010 but resumed in 2011 with the assistance of local residents that monitor the fish while they imprint to the stocking location off the mouth of Cove Creek. The objectives of the current releases in Cordova and Whittier are to create 500 angler days of fishing effort with a return of 200 adult Chinook salmon at each release site.

Rockfish Barotrauma and Deepwater Release Survival Studies

Yelloweye rockfishRockfish tagging studies began in 2008 assessing the survival of demersal rockfish released with a deepwater release mechanism (DRM). ADF&G studies found that survival of yelloweye rockfish released at depth was far higher (98%) than survival of fish released at the surface (22%). Additional studies in PWS are ongoing and are assessing deepwater release survival of both pelagic and non-pelagic species found throughout PWS.

For further details on rockfish conservation and DRMs please visit our Rockfish Conservation and Deepwater Release page.

PWS Spot Shrimp Surveys

Data collected post-season from non-commercial shrimp permits are used to estimate the shrimp pot days of effort and harvest for permit holders in the PWS non-commercial shrimp fishery.