Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince of Wales Island
Archived Sport Fishing Report
July 06, 2022
Sport fisihing opportunities on Prince of Wales Island during July consist of marine fishing for king, coho and pink salmon and bottomfish such as halibut, lingcod and rockfish. Freshwater opportunities exist for trout, Dolly Varden, sockeye, chum and summer run coho salmon. It has been an usually dry summer with low water conditions which can make it difficult for salmon to migrate into their drainages creating poor fishing conditions for fresh water anglers. Rain is in the forecast which will hopefully bring water levels up.
Check out the wefishak page on the ADF&G website for the gofishak interactive map to discover fishing locations and information on species run timing, fishing gear selections, and boat and angler access tips!
Chinook (king) Salmon
King salmon fishing has been slow compared to recent years, but fish will be around through July.
Chinook Salmon regulations for 2022
- The resident daily bag limit is two fish over 28 inches;
- The nonresident daily bag limit is one fish with an annual harvest limit of three fish over 28 inches through June 30;
- From July 1 through July 15, the nonresident annual harvest limit is two king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length; any king salmon harvested from January 1 through June 30 will apply towards the two fish annual harvest limit;
- From July 16 through December 31, the nonresident annual harvest limit is one king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length; any king salmon harvested from January 1 through July 15 will apply towards the one fish annual harvest limit;
- Immediately upon landing and retaining a king salmon a nonresident must enter the species, date, and location on their sport fishing license or on a nontransferable harvest record.
Coho (silver) Salmon
Silver salmon are being caught in marine waters around Prince of Wales and fishing will continue to improve through July. Neck Creek hatchery produced summer run coho salmon are present in Whale Pass. This summer will be the last return of these fish as the hatchery stopped producing coho salmon.
Sockeye (red) Salmon
Sockeye salmon are present in some of the drainages on Prince of Wales. Systems that get sockeye include Hatchery Creek and the Thorne, Sarkar and Karta rivers. Water levels are very low which may prevent sockeye from entering fresh water or migrating very far up drainages.
Pink and Chum Salmon
Chum salmon catches in the salt waters of western POW have been higher than usual. This is likely due to the hatchery chum salmon release at Port Asumcion on Baker Island. Some wild chum salmon will start entering freshwater drainages such as Staney Creek in July. Pink salmon are starting to arrive in salt water and numbers but will build through July. Pink salmon generally start entering freshwater drainages at the end of July.
Trout and Dolly Varden
Rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and Dolly Varden are available in many of the freshwater drainages of POW. Fishing can be good during the summer. Dolly Varden and trout feed opportunistically and will take a variety of lures and fly patterns including small spoons, spinners and fry and leech patterns. Productive drainages for trout include Luck, Klawock, 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 good and should remain so throughout the summer.
Lingcod fishing can be very good around Prince of Wales. Lingcod regulations can be found in the 2022 regulation summary.
Rockfish can be caught year-round. There is a section 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 the species targeted). 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 now open for residents of Alaska with a daily bag limit of one. Yelloweye remained closed.
Demersal shelf rockfish are closed to harvest for nonresidents.
Demersal shelf rockfish 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
Please refer to the rockfish conservation page for additional information regarding rockfish identification and management.
For further information, please feel free to contact the Prince of Wales Area Management Biologist: Craig Schwanke (907) 826-2498.