Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince William Sound
August 14, 2019
Week of August 14 - August 20
- Sockeye salmon fishing has slowed on Eyak River. A few coho salmon have showed up in the lower river and fishing should start to pick up over the next couple of weeks.
- 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, but fishing has slowed as the fish are moving up into the lake. Coho should start showing up here in better numbers towards the end of the month.
- Coho salmon fishing should improve in the Copper River Delta once some rain rolls in.
- 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 fish with bait for the rest of the day in these waters.
- In PWS, sockeye are slowly moving into Eshamy Creek as more fish move in with the tide.
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 out further which was a little difficult last week. When fishing inside PWS try fishing large bait on muddy bottom off a rocky slope in 200 - 300’ of water.
- The Valdez Halibut Derby runs through September 1. Don’t forget to pick up your derby ticket before heading out! A 285.6lb fish caught in June is still the lead fish. Many fish over 100lbs were brought in 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 a lingcod and keep 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 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’ 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’, whichever is shallower.
- Kings are milling around the harbor and just outside. Remember, no snagging is allowed in the Whittier harbor.
- Coho salmon continue to be picked up outside Main Bay, around Crafton and Smith islands area. Mooching deep is your best bet. Anglers report as deep as 150’ in some areas to get into cohos.
- A few cohos have been reported caught near Pigot Bay.
- Pinks are 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. 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 reported out as far as Goose Island, but many have moved in closer.
- The Valdez Silver Salmon Derby started on July 20. A 14.68lb coho salmon has taken the lead this week!
- 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.
- A News Release issued July 31, 2019, encourages anglers that use the port of Whittier to help ADF&G by not cleaning at sea. Sport Fish Area Manager is seeking support from anglers to increase port samples of ground fish.
- Emergency Order 2-PS-6-43-19 increased 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. Freshwater 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.