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Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince William Sound

May 18, 2018

General Area Description: includes all waters between Cape Fairfield and Cape Suckling.

Regulation Reminders and Emergency Orders

Regulation Reminders

  • Anglers are reminded to review Emergency Orders and News Releases and the 2018 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for the Prince William Sound and the Copper River Delta Area before heading out on their next fishing trip.
  • The Prince William Sound non-commercial shrimp fishery opened on April 15. Permits are mandatory for all non-commercial shrimp fisherman. Permits are available online, at local ADF&G offices, and at select vendors.
  • Per Emergency Order No. 2-SHR-6-05-18, effective April 15, 2018, the number of shrimp pots allowed to harvest shrimp in Prince William Sound was reduced from five pots per person with a maximum of five pots per vessel, to four pots per person with a maximum of four pots per vessel.
  • Lingcod season is closed until July 1 to protect nest-guarding males.
  • Cutthroat and Rainbow/Steelhead trout fishing is closed through June 14.
  • Ibeck Creek is closed to all sport fishing upstream from a point 3 miles above the Copper River Highway.
  • Cordova Terminal harvest area is closed to snagging June 1 to September 30.
  • Eyak Lake is closed to salmon fishing

New Regulations

  • The lingcod bag and possession limit is now 1 per day and 1 in possession.
  • The year-round rockfish regulation in Prince William Sound is a bag limit of 4 fish per day and possession limit of 8 fish, of which only 1 fish can be a nonpelagic rockfish.
  • The bag and possession limit of nonpelagic rockfish has changed to 1 in your bag limit and only 1 in your possession. The requirement to retain the first nonpelagic rockfish is no longer in regulation.
  • Effective January 2020, the use of a deepwater release mechanism will be required to be onboard all vessels sportfishing in the Prince William Sound Management Area and they must be used to release rockfish at depth of capture or 100 feet, whichever is shallower.

Freshwater Fishing

Salmon

  • No reports of salmon fishing in freshwaters in Prince William Sound have come in.
  • Please review the 2018 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for the bag and possession limits of salmon in freshwater.

Trout, Dolly Varden, Grayling

  • Cutthroat and rainbow/steelhead trout fishing is closed April 15 - June 14 in the Cordova area.

Saltwater Fishing

Salmon

  • Chinook salmon returning to the lagoon at Fleming Spit should start to show up any day now. Try trolling outside the lagoon in the salt water to catch fish moving into the lagoon. Shore fishing should start up in a couple of weeks

Halibut, Lingcod, Rockfish

  • Lingcod is closed until July 1.
  • Halibut angling is picking up and reports of medium sized fish have been caught during this good stretch of weather.
  • Strawberry Channel has been a good for catching smaller sized halibut.
  • The Valdez Halibut Derby will begin May 19 and will run through September 2.
  • Rockfish can be caught easily year-round throughout Prince William Sound. Check the regulations as bag limits have changed! The daily bag and possession limit is now only ONE nonpelagic in Prince William Sound.
  • REMEMBER if you are targeting multiple species, target rockfish last, and use a deepwater release mechanism on all released rockfish. These devices can turn the chance of survival for a rockfish from near zero to near 100%!
  • Effective January 2020, the use of a deepwater release mechanism will be required to be onboard all vessels sportfishing in the Prince William Sound Management area and they must be used to release rockfish at depth of capture or 100 feet, whichever is shallower

Never heard of deepwater release for rockfish???

  • Stop by your local ADF&G office for a free release mechanism (and instruction on how to use it), while supplies last.
  • Check the ADF&G Rockfish Conservation webpage to learn more.

Shellfish

  • Shrimp season opened on April 15. Try out your favorite spot or give a new location a try! Successful sets have been reported to be set around 400 feet deep but some people are having decent luck at shallower depths.
  • You may get your permit online but you must have a printed and signed copy with you while fishing. Permit needs to be in possession as you are shrimping, and harvest needs to be reported before your catch is concealed.
  • Don’t forget to record when you drop your pots in the water the first trip out and remember only 4 pots are allowed per vessel in 2018.
  • Don’t forget to turn in your harvest report after the season closes on September 15 or whenever you wrap up for the season.

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