Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince of Wales Island
August 2, 2021
Sport fishing opportunities on Prince of Wales (POW) during August are highlighted by coho and pink salmon and bottomfish in marine waters and sockeye, chum, pink and summer run coho salmon, Dolly Varden, and trout in freshwaters. Water conditions have been low and warm for a few weeks now which can make freshwater fishing for salmon difficult. Fishing should improve with rain in the forecast.
NEW! Check out the wefishak page on the ADF&G website for the new gofishak interactive map to discover popular fishing locations and information on species run timing, fishing gear selections, and boat and angler access tips! The previous interactive map for Prince of Wales is still available but will be retired after September 1, 2021. For the most up-to-date information, please use the new app linked above.
* Please do your part to slow the spread of Covid-19 by practicing social distancing while sport and personal use fishing, and wearing a face-covering when social distancing is not possible.
Chinook (King) Salmon
See below for new king salmon regulations effective August 1, 2021. King salmon fishing on the western side of POW remains good. The best catches are reported from outside waters around Noyes, Baker, and Suemez islands. King salmon fishing on the east side of POW is fair with mostly small fish.
August 1 Revised Chinook Salmon regulations for 2021
- As of August 1, the resident daily bag limit is one fish over 28 inches.
- August 1 through August 31 nonresidents may not retain king salmon.
Sockeye (Red) Salmon
Sockeye salmon are currently present in a number of drainages including Hatchery, Eagle, Ratz creeks and Thorne, Sarkar, and Karta rivers. Sockeye salmon will start spawning is some drainages during August.
Coho (Silver) Salmon
Coho salmon fishing in marine waters is very good with many anglers catching their bag limit. Summer run coho salmon are present in some freshwater drainages during August with fall fish starting to enter drainages. A popular drainage is the hatchery return at Neck Creek in Whale Pass. The hatchery return at the Klawock River won't peak until September with small numbers of fish trickling in through August. Water levels are very low which may deter coho salmon from entering freshwater drainages and makes them difficult to catch when in freshwater.
Pink and Chum Salmon
Pink and chum salmon are present in marine waters and will start entering freshwater drainages in good numbers in early August. Most freshwater drainages of Prince of Wales have pink and chum salmon, however, Staney Creek and Thorne and Harris rivers are good locations to fish. A new hatchery return of chum salmon is present in good numbers at Port Asumcion of Baker Island.
Trout and Dolly Varden
Rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and Dolly Varden are available in many of the freshwater drainages of POW. Fishing can be very good in lakes and creeks during August as fish feed on aquatic insects, salmon eggs, and sculpin. Productive drainages for trout include Klawock, Luck, and Sarkar lakes; the Thorne River, and Ratz Creek. Regulations regarding size limits, bag limits, and the use of bait can vary by waterbody, so please check the Southeast Alaska Sport Fish Regulation Summary.
Halibut fishing is very good throughout the summer.
Lingcod fishing can be very good in areas with rocky bottoms and structures.
Rockfish can be caught year-round. A helpful flyer is available on the Fish and Game website for identifying common rockfish of POW.
All sport fishing vessels are required to have at least one functional deepwater release device (regardless of species targeted) and anglers will be REQUIRED to use a deepwater release device to release rockfish to the depth it was hooked or to a depth of at least 100 feet. Please see the Southeast Alaska Sport Fish Regulation Summary or visit your local ADF&G office to see examples of rockfish release devices and learn about their use.
Demersal Shelf Rockfish
The retention of demersal shelf rockfish is prohibited during 2021.
- No retention of demersal shelf rockfish which are the following species: yelloweye, quillback, copper, canary, china, tiger, and rosethorn rockfish.
Some slope rockfish are common in marine waters surrounding POW. The most common species are silvergrey, rougheye, shortraker, and vermilion rockfish.
- One per day; one in possession
Pelagic rockfish provide good fishing in the marine waters surrounding POW.
- Season: year-round
- Five per day; ten in possession
For additional information regarding rockfish identification and management please refer to the rockfish conservation page on the ADF&G Sport Fish website.
For further information, please feel free to contact the Prince of Wales Area Management Biologist: Craig Schwanke (907) 826-2498.