Brittany Blain-Roth, Area Management Biologist
(907) 267-2186, firstname.lastname@example.org
Area Sport Fishing Reports
Prince William Sound
May 25, 2023
General Area Description: includes all waters between Cape Fairfield and Cape Suckling.
Trout/Dolly Varden/Arctic Char
- From April 15 - June 14 there is no retention of cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, or steelhead trout to protect spawning fish. In addition, no bait is allowed during this time. Anglers may only use unbaited, artificial lures or flies.
- With the cold and late spring, Dolly Varden and trout fishing is expected to be slow. As the weather warms up and salmon fry begin to move, fishing near the creek mouths throughout Prince William Sound should begin to improve.
There have been no catches reported of sockeye salmon from Eyak River in Cordova. However, we anticipate that sockeye salmon should be showing up any day now!
Halibut fishing is off to a slow start, but anglers are producing consistent catches near the entrances into Prince William Sound including Montague Strait, Hinchinbrook Entrance, Strawberry Channel/Orca Inlet (near Cordova), and other passages. Additionally, several halibut have been caught this spring in shallow waters (60-90’) in various bays throughout Prince William Sound.
Lingcod season is closed until July 1.
- By emergency order, rockfish limits have been reduced to three fish per day, six in possession of which only one per day, one in possession can be a nonpelagic rockfish. Additionally, yelloweye rockfish may not be retained from May 1 to June 30. For rockfish species identification information visit our website.
- Large schools of pelagic rockfish have yet to return to the inside waters of Prince William Sound but can be found near the entrances and the coastal outside waters.
Catches of Pacific (gray) cod have been good throughout Prince William Sound while targeting other saltwater species.
- Don’t forget to get your PWS shrimp permit! The sport and subsistence shrimp season opened on April 15 and will close on September 15. You are required to have your permit with you and document any time you have pots in the water.
- In 2023, the limit is three pots per vessel but only two pots in areas in the vicinity of Whittier and Valdez. See emergency order 2-SHR-6-16-23 and the map that accompanies your permit for area specifics.
- Don’t forget you must record your catch on your permit prior to leaving the site or concealing your catch.
- Looking for a good starting depth? Shrimpers have reported that shrimping has been spotty but are producing better catch rates at shallower depths (150-300’). Try allowing your pots to soak for 8-24 hours.
- King salmon fishing in the saltwater has been slow to fair. Fish are being caught near Cape Cleare (Montague Island) in decent numbers. Try trolling a large flasher with small to medium-sized herring. Kings should be present throughout Prince William Sound. Common places to try for early king salmon include Pigot Point (Whittier), near the south end of Culross Passage, Glacier Island (Valdez), and Orca Bay (Cordova).
- There are no reports of king salmon having been caught at Fleming Spit (in Cordova) yet. However, these hatchery fish should begin showing up in the next couple of weeks. Fish the incoming tide with large spinners or bait such as herring.
- Both Blueberry and Thompson lakes are currently iced up.
- Blueberry and Thompson lakes and Ruth Pond (Valdez area) will be stocked in late June. Fishing is expected to be slow in these lakes until then.
Please review the emergency orders and advisory announcements below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip.
- Emergency Order 2-SHR-6-16-23 reduced the number of shrimp pots allowed to harvest shrimp in the Prince William Sound noncommercial shrimp fishery. The pot limit per person and per vessel has been reduced to three pots; however, of those three pots only two pots can be set in areas of historical high effort including areas near the Port of Valdez, near the Port of Whittier, and in portions of Port Wells and Culross Passage. This emergency order is in effect through 11:59 p.m. Friday, September 15, 2023.
- Emergency Order 2-RF-6-21-23 reduced the rockfish bag and possession limits in Prince William Sound to three per day and six in possession of which only one per day, one in possession can be nonpelagic. In addition, from May 1 through June 30, 2023, yelloweye rockfish may not be retained.
Don’t forget to purchase your 2023 sport fishing license and king stamp! You can purchase your 2023 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, advisory announcements, and the 2023 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for the area you are fishing in before you head out.
For additional information, please contact the Anchorage Area Office at (907) 267-2218.