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Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince of Wales Island

May 20, 2019

Prince of Wales Sport Fishing

The sport fishing opportunities are numerous on Prince of Wales (POW) during the spring 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 steelhead, trout and Dolly Varden. During the spring fishing in marine waters can be productive for king salmon and 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.

King Salmon

King salmon catches have been reported near Craig and Klawock and fishing will likely improve into May.

  • Sport fishing for king salmon on the west side of POW is currently open with a bag limit of 1 king salmon per day, 28 inches or greater. The nonresident annual limit is 3, 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. Fishing is currently poor to fair.
  • Sport fishing on the east side of POW will be closed to retention of king salmon from April 1 through June 14.


Fishing for steelhead is currently poor. The majority of fish are spawning or have completed spawning and migrating out of fresh water. We encourage anglers not to target spawning fish and avoid stepping in redds while wading. Drainages that have steelhead include, but are not limited to: Thorne, Klawock, Harris and Karta rivers; Eagle, Staney and Ratz creeks.

Trout and Dolly Varden

Rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and Dolly Varden are available in many of the freshwater drainages of Prince of Wales Island. Trout and Dolly Varden are currently feeding on pink salmon fry in many creeks and rivers. 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 are possible in the spring with success increasing into the summer.


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 year round. For additional information regarding rockfish identification and management please refer to rockfish conservation on the ADF&G Sport Fish website.

All Prince of Wales Waters

Pelagic Rockfish

  • Season: year round
  • Five per day; ten in possession

Non-pelagic Rockfish

  • 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.

Regulation summaries and copies of the news releases are available at the Craig ADF&G office.

For further information, please feel free to contact the Prince of Wales Area Management Biologist: Craig Schwanke (907) 826-2498.


Prince of Wales Island Area Archives for:
May 20, 2019 Apr 29, 2019 Apr 11, 2019 Mar 27, 2019

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