Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince of Wales Island
July 16, 2018
Prince of Wales Sport Fishing
The sport fishing opportunities are numerous on Prince of Wales (POW) during the summer with productive marine waters surrounding the island and a vast road system to access a large number of rivers, creeks and lakes, which provide opportunities for trout, Dolly Varden, and steelhead. During June fishing in marine waters can be productive for king salmon and bottom fish. POW is experiencing a dry summer and creeks and rivers are currently low, potentially discouraging salmon from entering fresh waters. Freshwater fishing for salmon has been poor.
King salmon catch rates have been poor in the marine waters of POW.
- Sport fishing for king salmon around POW is currently open with a bag limit of 1 king salmon per day, 28 inches or greater. The nonresident annual limit is 3 king salmon, 28 inches or greater, through June 30. The nonresident annual limit will be 1 king salmon after July 1. Nonresidents shall immediately record, in ink, all king salmon harvested either on the back of their sport fishing license or on a nontransferable harvest record.
Sockeye (red) salmon are entering some of the freshwater drainages of Prince of Wales Island. Weir data, surveys and angler reports indicate poor returns of sockeye salmon. Drainages that have sockeye salmon include Thorne, Sarkar and Karta rivers and Hatchery, Eagle, Red, and Ratz creeks.
Small numbers of coho (silver) salmon are being caught in the marine waters of POW. Fishing will continue to improve through the summer.
Summer run coho are present in some of the freshwater drainages of POW. Drainages with summer run coho salmon include Neck Creek and the Thorne River. There are good numbers of hatchery reared summer run coho in Whale Pass.
Trout and Dolly Varden
Rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and Dolly Varden are available in many of the freshwater drainages of Prince of Wales Island. Fishing can be very good during June. Productive drainages include Klawock, Luck and Sarkar lakes, Thorne River, and Ratz Creek. Regulations regarding size limits and bag limits can vary by waterbody, please review the 2018 Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet.
Halibut provide good fishing in the marine waters surrounding Prince of Wales during June.
Lingcod fishing can be good in areas with rocky structure.
- Resident bag limits are 1 fish per day, 2 in possession, no size limit.
- Nonresident bag limits are 1 daily, 1 in possession, size limit 30 inches or greater in length and less than 45 inches, or greater than 55 inches. Annual limit of 2 fish, one of which is 30 to 45 inches and one of which is 55 inches or greater in length.
Pelagic and non-pelagic rockfish provide good fishing in the marine waters surrounding Prince of Wales year round. For additional information regarding rockfish identification and management, please visit the ADF&G Rockfish Conservation webpage.
All Prince of Wales Waters
- Season: year round
- Five per day; ten in possession
- Resident - One non-pelagic rockfish daily; possession limit of one fish.
- Nonresident - One non-pelagic rockfish daily; possession limit of one fish; with an annual limit of one yelloweye rockfish.
- Nonresident anglers must immediately record yelloweye rockfish harvested, in ink, either on the back of their sport fishing license, or on a nontransferable harvest record.
- Persons sport fishing from a charter vessel when releasing non-pelagic rockfish, (e.g. after an angler reaches their bag limit), must be in possession of, and utilize a deep water release mechanism to return the fish to the depth it was hooked or to a depth of at least 100 feet.
- Charter operators and crew members may not retain non-pelagic rockfish while clients are on board the vessel.
- Retention of nonpelagic rockfish will be prohibited on the west side of Prince of Wales from August 1 to August 31.
Anglers will be required to obtain a free permit for sport, personal use, and subsistence shrimp harvest beginning Monday June 25, 2018. Permits are available online at the ADF&G store or at your local ADF&G office.
For further information, please feel free to contact the Prince of Wales Area Management Biologist Craig Schwanke (907) 826-2498.