Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince of Wales Island
August 15, 2019
Prince of Wales Sport Fishing
The sport fishing opportunities are numerous on Prince of Wales (POW) during late 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 late 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.
An emergency order was issued rescinding the nonresident king salmon closure and nonresident anglers will be able to harvest king salmon beginning August 16. The annual harvest limit for nonresidents is one king salmon, 28 inches or greater.
King salmon fishing remains good near Craig and Klawock with anglers finding kings near the outer coast. Fishing on the east side of POW is poor to fair for king salmon.
- Sport fishing for king salmon on the west side of POW is open for resident anglers with a daily bag and possession limit of one fish over 28 inches.
- Sport fishing for king salmon on the east side of POW is open for residents anglers with a daily bag and possession limit of two fish over 28 inches.
Coho (silver) salmon fishing has been good in marine waters around POW and coho salmon numbers will continue to build as they migrate to freshwater drainages through August.
Coho salmon are starting to enter freshwater drainages and fishing will continue to improve through August. Most drainages have coho salmon including Staney Creek, Harris and Thorne rivers.
Sockeye (red) salmon have been entering freshwater drainages on POW since early summer. Run timing varies by system with fish entering many drainages through August. Drainages with sockeye salmon include the Thorne, Karta rivers and Salmon Bay and Sweetwater lakes.
Pink & Chum Salmon
Pink salmon fishing is good 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 late summer. Trout and Dolly Varden are currently feeding on a variety of foods including insects, sculpin and juvenile salmon in many creeks and rivers. As salmon start to spawn egg patterns will become a good option. 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.
Non-pelagic rockfish - Outside Waters (west side of POW)
Effective Thursday, July 25th, retention of non-pelagic rockfish is prohibited on the westside of POW and in all outside waters of Southeast Alaska, through August 31st. An emergency order was issued in March 2019 that prohibits retention of non-pelagic rockfish in outside waters, and it was referenced in the Southeast Alaska sportfishing regulation summaries on page 12.
All vessels are required to have at least one functional deep water release device (regardless of species targeted) and anglers are REQUIRED to use a rockfish release device to release nonpelagic rockfish during this time. 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.
Non-pelagic Rockfish - Inside Waters (east side POW)
- 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.
- Season: year round
- Five per day; ten in possession
For further information, please feel free to contact the Prince of Wales Area Management Biologist: Craig Schwanke (907) 826-2498.