Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince of Wales Island

Archived Sport Fishing Report

September 14, 2020

Sport fishing opportunities on Prince of Wales (POW) during September include marine waters surrounding the island and a vast road system that provides access to a large number of rivers, creeks and lakes, which provide opportunities for coho salmon, Dolly Varden, cutthroat and rainbow trout. After a very rainy summer there has been a stretch of dry weather and water levels are currently low. Fishing in marine waters during the fall can be good for bottom fish and coho salmon.

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.

* Just a reminder to all our anglers, please do your part to help slow the spread of Covid-19 by following and reviewing the current State of Alaska Health Mandates in effect. This includes practicing social distancing while sport and personal use fishing and wearing a face covering when fishing and if you are needing fishing supplies from your local store as indicated in Health Alert 010.

Chinook Salmon

Small numbers of Chinook (king) salmon will remain present in the marine waters of POW year around, but fishing will be slow during the fall and winter.

Chinook Salmon bag limits from July 31 to September 30:

  • Sport fishing for chinook salmon is open for resident anglers with a daily bag and possession limit of five fish over 28 inches.
  • The daily bag limit for nonresident anglers is three fish over 28 inches and an annual limit of nine fish.
  • Immediately upon landing and retaining a chinook salmon a nonresident must enter the species, date and location, in ink, on the back of their sport fishing license or on a nontransferable harvest record.

Coho Salmon

Fall run coho (silver) salmon are now present in many freshwater drainages and fishing will continue to improve through September. Most drainages have coho salmon and good catches have been reported in Staney Creek and Harris and Thorne rivers. Klawock River hatchery coho are present in good numbers. With current low water conditions fishing will be most productive early in the morning or late in the evening. Coho salmon fishing will slow down in the marine waters of POW through September.

Sockeye, Pink and Chum Salmon

Sockeye (red), pink and chum salmon are present in many of the freshwater drainages and these species are currently spawning.

Trout and Dolly Varden

Rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and Dolly Varden are available in many of the freshwater drainages of POW and fishing can be very good in the fall. Flies or beads that imitate salmon eggs are very effective in the fall as salmon spawn. 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 fishing should be good in the marine waters surrounding POW this fall.


Lingcod fishing will remain good around rocky structure into the fall. Season remains open until November 30.


A helpful flier is available on the Fish and Game website for identifying common rockfish of POW.

As of January 1, 2020 all sport fishing vessels are 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 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 2020.

  • No retention of demersal shelf rockfish which are the following species: yelloweye, quillback, copper, canary, china, tiger and rosethorn rockfish.

Slope 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

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.

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.

Helpful links