Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince William Sound
July 19, 2019
Week of July 18 - July 24
- Sockeye salmon continue to move into the Eyak River and more are congregating near the lake. Fishing continues to be good but remember, no snagging is allowed and special regulations are in effect.
- Effective June 1 - September 30, Eyak River Special Regulations around the Eyak Lake dam/weir and highway bridge are fly-fishing-only waters. Only single-hook, artificial flies with a gap of 3/8 inch or less between a point and shank are allowed AND no additional weight may be attached to the line.
- Sockeye are in Alaganik Slough and fishing has been good.
- Lots of sockeye salmon are in the Coghill River, but remember that the waters within 300 feet of the fish weir are closed to sport fishing.
- King salmon in Fleming Spit (in Cordova) have reached the tail end of their run, although a few fish still remain, they are fairly blushed and becoming shy to fishing pressures.
- Remember no snagging in the Cordova Terminal Harvest Area between June 1 - September 30.
Trout/Dolly Varden/Arctic Char
- Unstocked lakes opened to the retention of trout on June 15.
- Ruth Pond, Blueberry, and Thompson lakes were stocked with rainbow trout. These are great options around Valdez for the kids (and adults!).
- Anglers are encouraged to not clean their catch at sea prior to heading back to the boat harbor. Please assist our port sampling program by returning to the harbor with your groundfish (lingcod, halibut, and rockfish) or groundfish carcasses and allowing the port sampler to sample your harvest. Data collected from the sport fish harvest is needed to manage and maintain healthy fisheries. If too many anglers dispose of carcasses at sea, ADF&G may not be able to meet sampling goals for rockfish, lingcod, and halibut. Inadequate data could potentially hurt the fishery or result in management decisions that are more restrictive than necessary.
- Halibut fishing has been good for most anglers getting further out, but you don’t have to travel far. Try fishing large bait on muddy bottom off a rocky slope in 150 - 300’ of water.
- The Valdez Halibut Derby runs through September 1. Don’t forget to pick up your derby ticket before heading out. A range of sizes of halibut were entered in the derby over the last week.
- Lingcod season opened on July 1. Since the opener, lingcod fishing has been good. Try using large jigs on rocky pinnacles in the outer waters of Prince Williams Sound. Remember, the minimum size to retain a lingcod is 35 inches with the head attached (or 28 inches with the head removed). Don’t use a gaff to puncture any fish you think you might release.
- Remember bag limits for lingcod are only one per day and in possession.
- Anglers are likely to get into rockfish while targeting lingcod. If you haven’t utilized deepwater release methods to release rockfish you are not going to retain, this is a great time to become familiar with it! You can make your own release device with an old jig by filing off the barb and tying your line to the bend in the hook. For more info, check out our Rockfish Conservation webpage.
- Having trouble identifying the species of rockfish you caught? Check out our rockfish ID sheet for the more commonly captured rockfish. You can also check out NOAA’s in-depth rockfish identification page.
- Shrimp flies are a good option if you are wanting to target rockfish. With a little added bait on your hook and dropping down on a rocky pinnacle you shouldn’t have trouble getting into some fish.
- Black rockfish have been found in large schools along shorelines and rocky pinnacles on the eastern side of Prince William Sound. Fishing crippled herring jigs or shrimp flies in 50-100 feet of water will really do the trick for these hard-hitting fish.
- Rockfish limits year-round are 4 fish per day, 8 in possession of which only 1 can be a nonpelagic rockfish.
- Effective January 2020, the use of a deepwater release mechanism will be required to be onboard all vessels sportfishing statewide and they must be used to release rockfish at depth of capture or 100 feet, whichever is shallower.
- If you are fishing for pinks around Whittier, you may see crews from the recent barge and dock fire. People have reported some chemical smells around Cove Creek. Here is a link to the most up to date information from DEC.
- Sockeye salmon fishing at Main Bay has been good. Anglers have reported medium-sized schools of fish milling around. Remember, if the barrier seine is up, you are not allowed to fish from a vessel within the barrier seine. Check commercial opener announcements for Eshamy District here to find the best times to be out.
- Chum salmon are an option around Ester right now and sockeye are moving into Port Wells bound for Coghill Lake. Coghill River weir is operational and daily fish passages are being posted. Lots of fish in the river if you are able to get up there. It’s a bit of hike or you need to access it with a small skiff or float plane.
- Pinks have been reported in Valdez! Jumpers have been spotted near Allison Point and Solomon Gulch. Schools of pinks can be targeted with spoons during the incoming and high tides. Better fishing for pink salmon has been reported from outside of Valdez narrows, but should continue improve in Port Valdez.
- The Valdez Kids Pink Salmon Derby is on July 20! Get the kids out to catch some pink salmon!
- Coho salmon have been reported around the Sound. They are working their way towards Valdez and other streams.
- The Valdez Silver Salmon Derby starts on July 20.
- Don’t forget to get your shrimp permit! The sport and subsistence shrimp season are open. You are required to have your permit with you, and you must record your catch immediately after you harvest shrimp. You can get your permit and report your harvest online. Harvest must be reported for each individual time you pull your pots and a full report must be received by October 15.
- Shallow depths can be just as productive as deeper depths when shrimping. Habitat is what’s important! Look for rocky slopes anywhere from 250 - 450’.
- If your pots are lost or stolen, please contact Alaska Wildlife Troopers and file a report. Contact information can be found on your shrimp permit.
- AWT Valdez: (907) 835-4307
- AWT Whittier: (907) 352-5401
- AWT Cordova: (907) 424-3184
Please review the Emergency Orders and News Releases below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip.
- Emergency Order 2-SHR-6-15-19 reduced shrimp pots to no more than three pots per person, with no more than three pots per vessel. This means that regardless of the number of permit holders on a boat, you may only ever set and pull three pots, off that vessel.
For additional information, please contact the ADF&G Anchorage Sport Fish Info Desk at (907) 267-2218.