Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince William Sound
Archived Sport Fishing Report
September 02, 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!
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.
- 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 to catch fish as the move in is always a good bet.
- Lots of rain has lead to streams in Cordova becoming more difficult to fish with the high, turbid waters. Anglers are having to put more time in and bait tends to work best in high water conditions
- 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 about 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. It should continue to pick up. 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 fry/smolt imitation and streamers flies, beads or small spinners.
- 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.
Port Sampling efforts in Whittier and Valdez are in full effect. Please assist our port sampling program by returning to the harbor with whole groundfish or groundfish carcasses and allowing ADF&G technicians to sample your harvest. Data collected from the sport fish harvest is needed to manage and maintain healthy fisheries. We appreciate you supporting the port sampling program and your assistance in getting managers information that aids in managing fisheries in the Southcentral.
- Lingcod season opened on July 1. Anglers continue to get into some legal sized fish. Those who were able to get further out continued to have good success.
- 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 has been 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.
- The Valdez Halibut Derby started on May 23 and ends in just a few days, on September 6. The leading fish is over 200 lbs.
- Rockfish limits year-round are four fish per day, eight in possession of which only one per day, one is possession may be a nonpelagic rockfish. Check your 2020 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for species identification information.
- Pinks are still around the Sound with lots of fish around Valdez especially at Allison Point. Try throwing different types of spinners or Pixies. See Emergency Order 2-PS-6-45-20 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.
- Cohos have moved into the Port of Valdez with good reports of catches from shore!
- The Valdez Silver Salmon Derby started on the July 25 and runs through September 6. Fish over 12 pounds continue to be entered into the derby.
- Cohos are starting to get picked up trolling or mooching in Passage Canal and near Pigot Point when weather allows anglers to get out. 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.
- Only a few weeks left to catch shrimp! Make plans to get your pots out of the water on or by September 15 as that’s the last day of the shrimp season!
- Shrimping has been good! There is no magic depth for shrimping. A good starting point would be in the 300-400’ range. Keep an eye out for good habitat such as rocky slopes.
- 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
Don’t forget to bring your 2020 sport fishing license and king stamp! Help maximize social distancing and purchase your 2020 sport fishing license and king stamp through the ADF&G online store and print it off from the comfort of your own home. Also, make sure to review Emergency Orders and the 2020 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for the area you are fishing before you head out
For additional information, please contact the Anchorage Area Office at (907) 267-2218.