Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince William Sound
July 13, 2018
General Area Description includes all waters between Cape Fairfield and Cape Suckling.
Regulation Reminders and Emergency Orders
- 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.
- Per Emergency Order No. 2-KS-6-31-18, effective July 10, 2018, snagging is allowed in the Fleming Spit Lagoon area including waters east (upstream) of the culverts on Fleming Spit Creek through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 15
- Per Emergency Order No. 2-RS-6-30-18, effective July 7, 2018, the Coghill River drainage sockeye salmon bag and possession limit has been increased to 12 fish per day, 24 in possession. In addition, the area closed to fishing adjacent to the Coghill River weir has been reduced to 50 feet.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cutthroat and rainbow/steelhead trout fishing opened June 15.
- 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.
- Lingcod season opened on July 1. The bag and possession limit is 1 per day, 1 in possession, must be 35 inches long with head attached or 28 inches from tip of tail to front of dorsal fin with head removed.
- 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.
- Water levels are high in the Cordova area which will make fishing difficult in the Eyak River.
- King salmon fishing at Fleming Spit has also been difficult with the high water levels. Snagging in the lagoon for king salmon is allowed through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 15 per Emergency Order No. 2-KS-6-31-18.
- 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 opened on June 15.
- Dolly Varden are present in many streams. Try a fry/smolt imitation fly or small spinners.
- Try trolling in Passage Canal for king salmon. Over the last couple of weeks, a few kings have been reportedly caught just outside and the fish should be moving in closer to Whittier.
- Lots of sockeye salmon are moving into the Coghill River along with the high water. Bag limits have been increased per Emergency Order 2-RS-6-30-18 but fishing will be difficult until the water subsides.
- Sockeye salmon are in Main Bay and fishing on non-commercial days has been good. If you plan to fish, check for commercial openings in that area prior to going fishing. Remember at Main Bay that sport fishing from a vessel that is within 60 feet of the Prince William Sound Aquaculture hatchery barrier seine or from a vessel that is anywhere inside the barrier seine is prohibited.
- There are still lots of chum salmon around Esther Hatchery.
- Pink salmon fishing near Valdez has been slow for sport anglers although a few are being picked up outside Entrance Point. Shore fishing should pick up in the next week.
Halibut, Lingcod, Rockfish
- Lingcod fishing opened July 1 and lots of nice fish have been caught. Remember, bag limits in Prince William Sound have changed since last year! The bag and possession limit is only one fish per day AND one in possession. The use of a gaff is not allowed unless you plan to retain lingcod you have caught.
- The Valdez Halibut Derby began on May 19 and will run through September 2. The leading fish is still a 239-pound fish! A new fish caught last week has taken the 3rd place spot. If you are headed out don’t forget to get your derby ticket.
- 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. 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
- 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. Visit the ADF&G Rockfish Conservation webpage for additional information.
- Shrimp season opened on April 15 and it’s been a good year. Depths ranging around 400 feet are good producers but you don’t have to go deep. Remember, it’s important to have good bait to entice the shrimp into the pots.
- Make sure you have proper markings on your buoy! See your permit for the required information.
- 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.
- IF YOU LOSE YOUR POTS, contact the Alaska State Troopers (AST) and report them immediately. You can reach AST dispatch at (907) 352-5401, Extension 1.