Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince William Sound
September 14, 2020
Fall Fishing Report 2020
* Just a reminder to all our anglers, please do your part to help slow the spread of Covid-19 by following and reviewing the current State of Alaska Health Mandates in effect. This includes practicing social distancing while sport and personal use fishing and wearing a face covering when fishing and if you are needing fishing supplies from your local store as indicated in Health Alert 010.
*For anglers visiting Cordova, please see the City of Cordova's Covid-19 Dashboard.
*For anglers visiting Valdez, please see the City of Valdez's Covid-19 Unified Command.
*For anglers visiting Whittier, please see the City of Whittier's Covid-19 webpage.
General Area Description: includes all waters between Cape Fairfield and Cape Suckling.
Effective January 2020, the use of a deepwater release mechanism is required on all sport fishing vessels in Alaska and they must be used to release rockfish back down to depth of capture or 100 feet, whichever is shallower. Never heard of deepwater release? Check out our rockfish conservation webpage for more info!
- Fishing for coho salmon has picked up and been good on Ibeck Creek, Eyak River, and Alaganik Slough.
- When fishing Alaganik Slough getting out before the tide comes in to catch fish as they move into Alaganik Slough and its tributaries is always a good bet.
- The rain has temporarily subsided, and local streams are all fishable! Bait tends to work best when the water is high and getting out early in the morning is your best bet.
- Remember: Effective June 1 - September 30, Eyak River Special Regulations are in effect around the Eyak Lake dam/weir and highway bridge. 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.
- During coho salmon season there are a few regulation reminders for the Cordova area:
- Ibeck Creek is closed to all sport fishing upstream from a point 3 miles above the Copper River Highway.
- A coho salmon that is removed from the water must be retained and becomes part of the daily bag limit for the person who originally hooked the fish. A person may not remove a coho salmon from the water before releasing it.
- From August 15 – September 15: After harvesting a limit of coho salmon a person may not sport fish with bait for the rest of the day in these waters.
- A few coho salmon have been picked up at Fleming Spit (Cordova) but it has been slow. Bait and spinners both work well at this location.
- Remember: Effective June 1 - September 30, no snagging is allowed in the Cordova Terminal Harvest area.
Trout/Dolly Varden/Arctic Char
- Cutthroat and rainbow trout fishing is open. Cutthroat trout are commonly found at the outlets of lakes or near stream mouths and Dolly Varden can be found behind spawning salmon.
- Try for smolt imitation and streamers flies, beads or small spinners.
- Pipeline lakes are a great group of lakes to try in the Cordova area. Give Pipeline lakes 4 and 5 a try with some dry flies.
- Blueberry and Thompson lakes and Ruth Pond should be fishing well.
- Ruth Pond is a fun easily accessible location for kids right in Valdez to catch rainbow trout!
- Arctic grayling fishing can be good on Thompson Lake for anglers using smaller sized fly-fishing gear.
- Lingcod season opened on July 1. Fewer lingcod are being caught this time of year.
- Remember to have a measuring tape with you! Try using large jigs just off of rocky pinnacles. Remember, the minimum size to retain a lingcod is 35 inches with the head attached (or 28 inches with the head removed). Do not use a gaff to puncture any fish you think you might release.
- When targeting lingcod your chances of catching rockfish are high. Make sure you have a deepwater release mechanism on board your vessel as this is now mandatory.
- Halibut fishing continues to be good when weather permits getting out further, but you don’t have to travel too far. Salmon spawning in creeks have drawn halibut further and shallower into Prince William Sound. Using chum bags and having patience helps catch halibut in the Sound. Anglers have reported catching larger halibut by using oversized baits such as salmon heads and viscera. For boaters out of Whittier, try around Perry, Naked, and Lone islands if you want to stay close, and for those out of Valdez, try around Valdez Arm and Goose Island.
- Rockfish limits year-round are four fish per day, eight in possession of which only one per day, one in possession may be a nonpelagic rockfish. Check your 2020 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for species identification information.
- Pinks and cohos are around Valdez especially in the Port and at Allison Point and the local docks. Try throwing different types of spinners or Pixies. See the Emergency Order to learn about the increase in bag and possession limit on pink salmon in the Valdez Terminal Harvest area which went into effect on August 1. This does NOT increase the bag and possession limit on coho or chum salmon.
- Some cohos are getting picked up trolling or mooching in Passage Canal. Shore fishing has been slow but should pick up any day now.
- If you are out fishing by boat, try trolling down 50-150 feet with a small to medium sized herring and an oversized flasher.
- Tuesday, September 15 is the last day of the shrimp season!
- After retrieval, you must record your catch on your permit immediately after you harvest shrimp.
- You can report your shrimp harvest online any time. Once the season closes you must report all of your harvest no later than October 15, 2020. **Harvest must be reported for each individual time you pull your pots.
- If your pots get lost or stolen please contact Alaska Wildlife Troopers (AWT).
- Valdez AWT 835-4307
- Cordova AWT 424-3184
- Whittier AWT 352-5401
Please review the Emergency Orders and Advisory Announcements below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip.
- Emergency Order 2-PS-6-45-20 increases the pink salmon bag and possession limit in the saltwaters of Port Valdez north of a line from Potato Point to Entrance Point (Valdez Narrows) to 12 fish per day and 24 in possession effective through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, December 31, 2020. Freshwater salmon closures remain in effect for Port Valdez.
- Emergency Order 2-SHR-6-13-20 decreases the number of shrimp pots allowed to harvest shrimp in the Prince William Sound shrimp fishery to three pots per person with a maximum of three pots per vessel used to take shrimp effective through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, September 15, 2020.
For additional information, please contact the Anchorage Area Office at (907) 267-2218.