Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince William Sound
Archived Sport Fishing Report
August 29, 2019
Week of August 29 - September 4
- Coho salmon are in the Eyak River. Better fishing has been reported in the lower river, particularly in deeper holes.
- 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.
- Coho salmon have shown up in Alaganik Slough in Cordova and fishing as the tide comes in has been productive for anglers spending the time.
- Coho salmon fishing should improve in the Copper River Delta once some rain rolls in but fishing for coho continues to be slow.
- Ibeck Creek is closed to all fishing upstream from a point 3 miles about the Copper River Highway.
- Remember, 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.
Trout/Dolly Varden/Arctic Char
- Unstocked lakes opened to the retention of trout on June 15.
- Ruth Pond, Blueberry and Thompson lakes are 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 out further. When fishing inside PWS try fishing large bait on muddy bottom off a rocky slope in 200 - 300’ of water.
- The Valdez Halibut Derby ends this weekend! A 285.6lb fish caught in June is still the lead fish. Fish around 100lbs have been brought into Valdez over the last week.
- Lingcod season opened on July 1. Fishing has been fair over the last week. Try using large jigs on rocky pinnacles in the outer waters of Prince Williams Sound. Staying just off the bottom will still catch you lingcod and reduce your chances of catching a rockfish.
- 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.
- 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.
- Black rockfish are becoming more active. Fishing crippled herring jigs or shrimp flies in 50-100’ 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.
- Very few king salmon remain in and around Whittier Harbor. However, the occasional feeder king has been caught throughout Prince William Sound while anglers are targeting other species of salmon.
- Coho are milling around the Whittier Harbor and outside of the break wall. Fishing in Whittier should continue to improve over the next several weeks. Remember, no snagging is allowed in the Whittier Harbor.
- Fewer coho salmon are being caught around Main Bay and Crafton Island but some are being picked up. Mooching deep is your best bet. Anglers report as deep as 150’ in some areas to get into cohos.
- More cohos are getting picked up near Pigot Bay.
- Lots of pinks are in Valdez! Pinks have congregated in large numbers near Allison Point and Solomon Gulch. Schools of pinks can be targeted with spoons during the incoming and high tides. Many pinks have begun to undergo their spawning transformation, but these fish can still be blast for kids to target. Starting August 2, the bag and possession limit on pinks in the Valdez area was been increased to 12 per day and 24 in possession. This will not change the bag and possession on coho salmon. See the corresponding Emergency Order below.
- Coho salmon continue to be caught around Valdez Arm in good numbers. Port Valdez near Gold Creek, Allison Point, and the boat harbor have been productive.
- The Valdez Silver Salmon Derby ends soon! Get yourself a fish over 14.5lbs and you can get on the leader board!
- Don’t forget to get your shrimp permit! The sport and subsistence shrimp season is 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-PS-6-43-19 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 per day, 24 in possession. Fresh water salmon closures remain in effect for Port Valdez.
- 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 3 pots, off that vessel.
For additional information, please contact the ADF&G Anchorage Sport Fish Info Desk at (907) 267-2218.