Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince of Wales Island
July 22, 2019
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 4 species of salmon, Dolly Varden, cutthroat and rainbow trout. During the summer fishing in marine waters can be productive for 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.
Nonresident anglers will be prohibited from retaining king salmon from August 1 to September 15 to keep the Southeast Alaska sport fishery within its Pacific Salmon Treaty king salmon allocation.
King salmon fishing has been very good near Craig and Klawock with anglers finding kings near on the outer coast around Noyes and Baker islands. Fishing on the east side of POW is fair for king salmon.
- Sport fishing for king salmon on the west side of POW is currently open with a daily bag and possession limit of one fish over 28 inches. The nonresident annual limit is currently 1 king salmon. 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.
- Sport fishing on the east side of POW is open to king salmon fishing. The daily bag and possession limit for resident anglers is 2 over 28 inches. For nonresident anglers the daily bag and possession limit is 1 fish over 28 inches. The nonresident annual limit is 1 king salmon. 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.
Summer run hatchery coho (silver) salmon are present in Whale Pass and fishing can be good. Wild runs of summer run coho salmon occur in a few drainages such as the Karta and Thorne rivers and Sweetwater Lake.
Coho salmon fishing has been improving in marine waters around POW and coho salmon numbers will continue to build as they migrate to inside waters in July and August.
Sockeye (red) salmon have started entering freshwater drainages on POW. Run timing varies by system with fish entering in July through August. Current low water levels are preventing sockeye from entering freshwater in many drainages. Drainages with sockeye salmon include the Thorne, Karta rivers and Salmon Bay and Sweetwater lakes.
Pink salmon fishing has improved in marine waters around POW. Pink and chum salmon have started entering and can be found in most freshwater drainages. Productive drainages include Staney Creek and the Harris and Thorne rivers.
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 June. Trout and Dolly Varden are currently feeding on a variety of foods including insects, sculpin and juvenile salmon 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 occur through out 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. 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
Non-pelagic rockfish - Outside Waters (west side of POW)
- The retention of non-pelagic rockfish will be prohibited in outside waters from July 25 to August 31.
- 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.
For further information, please feel free to contact the Prince of Wales Area Management Biologist: Craig Schwanke (907) 826-2498.