POW Island Steelhead Season Is Here
The following is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
It’s prime time for steelhead on Prince of Wales as peak timing for steelhead coincides with some rain and good water levels. Additional sportfishing opportunities consist of cutthroat and rainbow trout and Dolly Varden in freshwater and king salmon, shellfish, and some bottomfish in saltwater.
Check out the wefishak page on the ADF&G website for the gofishak interactive map to discover fishing locations and information on species run timing, fishing gear selections, and boat and angler access tips!
Guides and Business Owners: don’t forget to register for 2022! You can register online at the ADF&G Store. As of 2021, all Southeast saltwater guides are required to use an eLogbook.
Chinook (King) Salmon
King salmon fishing reports have been fair on the west side of Prince of Wales and should improve into May.
Chinook Salmon regulations for 2022
- The resident daily bag limit is two fish over 28 inches.
- The nonresident daily bag limit is one fish with an annual limit of three fish over 28 inches.
- Immediately upon landing and retaining a king salmon a nonresident must enter the species, date, and location on their sport fishing license or on a nontransferable harvest record.
Eastside of Prince of Wales
Inside waters of Southeast Alaska, including Clarence Straight on the east side of Prince of Wales, are closed to king salmon retention until June 15. The closure is a conservation measure to protect Alaska mainland king salmon stocks as they migrate to their spawning rivers.
The third and fourth weeks of April are considered peak timing for steelhead as fresh fish continue to enter creeks and it’s still early for most spawning. Water levels are currently favorable for good fishing. Drainages that support good numbers of steelhead include; Thorne, Karta, Harris, and Klawock rivers and Staney, Ratz, and Eagle creeks. Fish are also present in numerous smaller drainages on the island for those anglers interested in exploring.
Trout and Dolly Varden
Rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and Dolly Varden are available in many of the freshwater drainages of POW. Fishing improves as water temperatures warm throughout the spring in both lakes and rivers. Productive drainages for trout include Luck, Klawock, and Sarkar lakes; the Thorne River, and Ratz Creek. Regulations regarding size limits, bag limits, and the use of bait can vary by waterbody, so please check the Southeast Alaska Sport Fish Regulation Summary.
Halibut fishing will improve as spring transitions to summer.
Retention of lingcod is prohibited through May 15.
Rockfish can be caught year-round. There is a section on the Fish and Game website for identifying common rockfish of POW.
All sport fishing vessels are required to have at least one functional deepwater release device (regardless of species targeted) and anglers will be REQUIRED to use a deepwater release device to release rockfish to the depth it was hooked or to a depth of at least 100 feet. Please see the Southeast Alaska Sport Fish Regulation Summary or visit your local ADF&G office to see examples of rockfish release devices and learn about their use.
Demersal Shelf Rockfish
The retention of demersal shelf rockfish is now open for residents of Alaska with a daily bag limit of one. Yelloweye remained closed.
Demersal shelf rockfish are closed to harvest for nonresidents.
Demersal shelf rockfish are the following species: yelloweye, quillback, copper, canary, china, tiger, and rosethorn rockfish.
Some slope rockfish are common in marine waters surrounding POW. The most common species are silvergrey, rougheye, shortraker, and vermilion rockfish.
- One per day; one in possession
Pelagic rockfish provide good fishing in the marine waters surrounding POW.
- Season: year-round
- Five per day; ten in possession
For additional information regarding rockfish identification and management please refer to the rockfish conservationpage.
Regulation summaries and copies of the news releases are available at the Craig ADF&G office.
For further information, please feel free to contact the Prince of Wales Area Management Biologist: Craig Schwanke (907) 826-2498.