Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince of Wales Island
Archived Sport Fishing Report
July 19, 2021
Sport fishing opportunities on Prince of Wales (POW) during July are highlighted by king, silver and pink salmon and bottomfish in marine waters and sockeye and summer run coho salmon, Dolly Varden, and trout in freshwaters. Water conditions have been low and warm for a few weeks now which can make freshwater fishing for salmon difficult.
NEW! Check out the wefishak page on the ADF&G website for the new gofishak interactive map to discover popular fishing locations and information on species run timing, fishing gear selections, and boat and angler access tips! The previous interactive map for Prince of Wales is still available but will be retired after September 1, 2021. For the most up-to-date information, please use the new app linked above.
* Please do your part to slow the spread of Covid-19 by practicing social distancing while sport and personal use fishing, and wearing a face-covering when social distancing is not possible.
King salmon fishing on the western side of POW is good with large fish caught in recent days. The best catches are reported from outside waters around Noyes, Baker, and Suemez islands. King salmon fishing on the east side of POW is fair.
Revised Chinook Salmon regulations for 2021 are:
- The daily bag limit for resident anglers is two fish over 28 inches.
- The daily bag limit for nonresident anglers is one fish with a harvest limit of 3 fish over 28 inches through June 30, a harvest limit of 2 fish over 28 inches from July 1 through July 7 and a harvest limit of 1 fish over 28 inches from July 8 to December 31, 2021.
- Any king salmon harvested prior to changes in harvest limits applies to the current harvest limit.
- 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.
Sockeye salmon are currently present in a number of drainages such as Hatchery, Eagle, Ratz creeks and Thorne and Karta rivers. Water levels are very low which may deter sockeye salmon from entering freshwater drainages.
Coho salmon numbers in marine waters have improved greatly in the last week and fishing should be very good for the remainder of July. Summer run coho salmon are present in some fresh water drainages during July. The most popular drainage is the hatchery return at Neck Creek in Whale Pass. Wild returns occur in the Thorne and Karta rivers and Hatchery and Logjam creeks. Water levels are very low which may deter coho salmon from entering freshwater drainages and makes them difficult to catch when in freshwater.
Pink and Chum Salmon
Pink salmon are present in marine waters and will start entering freshwater in late July. Chum salmon will start entering many freshwater drainages such as Staney Creek and Harris River soon. A new hatchery return of chum salmon are present in good numbers at Port Asumcion of Baker Island.
Trout and Dolly Varden
Rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and Dolly Varden are available in many of the freshwater drainages of POW. Fishing can be very good in lakes and creeks during the summer as fish feed on aquatic insects, salmon fry, and sculpin. Productive drainages for trout 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 is very good throughout the summer.
Lingcod fishing can be very good in areas with rocky bottoms and structures.
Rockfish can be caught year-round. A helpful flyer is available on the Fish and Game website for identifying common rockfish of POW.
All sport fishing vessels are required to have at least one functional deepwater release device (regardless of species targeted) and anglers will be REQUIRED to use a deepwater 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 2021.
- No retention of demersal shelf rockfish which are the following species: yelloweye, quillback, copper, canary, china, tiger, and rosethorn 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 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.
For further information, please feel free to contact the Prince of Wales Area Management Biologist: Craig Schwanke (907) 826-2498.