New Prince William Sound Fishing Regulations Announced

Prince William Sound photo by Bixler McClure

The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

The Alaska Board of Fisheries (BOF) met in Valdez from December 1–5, 2017, and adopted sport fishing regulations for the Prince William Sound (PWS) Management Area. This is not a comprehensive list of all of the changes but a summary of the BOF decision’s that will impact the sport fishing regulations in PWS. A complete list of BOF decisions can be reviewed on the BOF webpage. These changes will be included in the 2018 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulation Summary booklet available for distribution in early April.

Starting in 2018, the bag and possession limit for PWS lingcod, is one lingcod that is a minimum of 35 inches in length with head attached or 28 inches or greater in length with head removed. This will align the lingcod bag and possession limit in PWS with North Gulf Coast, except for Resurrection Bay which remains closed to the retention of lingcod.


The BOF established a new bag and possession limit for rockfish. Starting in 2018, the rockfish bag limit is four fish with a possession limit of eight fish of which only one can be a nonpelagic rockfish. The mandatory retention provision for nonpelagic rockfish has also been removed from regulation. This would be a good time to refresh your knowledge of rockfish species identification. The regulation summary has a handy guide to help identify commonly caught pelagic and nonpelagic rockfish species. Still to be discussed at the upcoming Anchorage BOF meeting scheduled for March 6–9, 2018, is a BOF proposal regarding the use of a deepwater release mechanism when releasing rockfish. Visit ADF&G’s Rockfish Conservation and Deepwater Release webpage for additional information about rockfish conservation.

The Clear Creek drainage, at mile 42 of the Copper River Highway, near Cordova, is now open to fishing for salmon. The bag and possession limit is three salmon other than king salmon. This is now in alignment with PWS Fresh Water Special Regulations; all freshwater drainages crossed by the Copper River Highway from Eyak River to the Million Dollar Bridge.

These regulation changes will go into effect for the 2018 fishing season. Please read the regulations closely prior to going fishing. If you have questions about a regulation, please contact the Anchorage Sport Fish Information Center at 907-267-2218.