Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince of Wales Island
September 16, 2019
Prince of Wales Sport Fishing
The sport fishing opportunities are numerous on Prince of Wales (POW) during September 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 Dolly Varden, cutthroat and rainbow trout and fresh from the ocean coho salmon. After a dry summer periodic fall rain has brought water levels up, providing good conditions for coho salmon entering freshwater drainages. During the fall fishing in marine waters is slow for salmon, but productive for bottom fish.
An excellent resource for planning a trip is the gofishak interactive map for POW which provides information on fishing locations, species run timing, fishing gear and angler access.
Chinook (king) salmon will be present in the marine water of POW through the fall and winter, although fishing is generally poor.
- Sport fishing for king salmon on the west side of POW is open for resident anglers with a daily bag and possession limit of one fish over 28 inches.
- Sport fishing for king salmon on the east side of POW is open for residents anglers with a daily bag and possession limit of two fish over 28 inches.
- Sport fishing for king salmon in Southeast Alaska is open to nonresidents with an annual limit of one fish over 28 inches. Harvest must be recorded on back of fishing license or harvest card.
Coho (silver) salmon fishing has slowed down in marine waters around POW and will continue to decline as they migrate to freshwater drainages through September.
Coho salmon are entering freshwater drainages and fishing should remain good through September. Most drainages support runs of coho salmon including Staney Creek, Harris and Thorne rivers. Hatchery produced coho salmon are present in the Klawock River and fishing is very good.
Sockeye (red) salmon have been entering freshwater drainages on POW since early summer and are spawning in some systems. Drainages with sockeye salmon include the Thorne, Karta rivers and Salmon Bay and Sweetwater lakes.
Pink & Chum Salmon
Pink and chum salmon can be found in most freshwater drainages and are presently spawning.
Trout and Dolly Varden
Rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and Dolly Varden are available in many of the freshwater drainages of Prince of Wales Island and fishing can be very good in the fall. Red, pink and chum salmon have started to spawn and egg patterns are a good option. Productive drainages 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 provide good fishing in the marine waters surrounding Prince of Wales and good catches occur through out the fall.
Lingcod fishing is open and fishing should be good off rocky structure.
- Resident - One daily, two in possession, no size limit.
- Nonresident - One daily, one in possession, size limit: 30 to 45 inches, or over 55 inches in length. Annual limit of two fish, one of which is 30 to 45 inches, one of which is over 55 inches. Harvest must be recorded on back of fishing license or harvest card.
Pelagic and non-pelagic rockfish provide good fishing in the marine waters surrounding Prince of Wales. For additional information regarding rockfish identification and management please refer to rockfish conservation on the ADF&G Sport Fish website.
- 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.
Beginning in 2020 all sport fishing vessels will be required to have at least one functional deep water release device (regardless of species targeted) and anglers will be REQUIRED to use a deep water release device to release nonpelagic rockfish. 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.
- Season: year round
- Five per day; ten in possession
For further information, please feel free to contact the Prince of Wales Area Management Biologist: Craig Schwanke (907) 826-2498.