Prince of Wales Island Fishing Report
August 26, 2022
Sport fishing opportunities on Prince of Wales Island during late August and early September consist of marine fishing for king, coho and pink salmon as well as bottomfish such as halibut, lingcod, and rockfish. Freshwater opportunities exist for trout, Dolly Varden, pink, chum and coho salmon. Marine coho and bottomfish fishing is currently good off the western and eastern coast of Prince of Wales. Water levels have been extremely low for the last week but a rainy forecast will bring water back up and fishing should improve when water levels normalize and fall coho start entering freshwater in greater numbers.
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!
Chinook (king) Salmon
King salmon fishing has been slow compared to recent years, but some fish will be around through August.
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 harvest limit of three fish over 28 inches through June 30;
- From July 1 through July 15, the nonresident annual harvest limit is two king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length; any king salmon harvested from January 1 through June 30 will apply towards the two fish annual harvest limit;
- From July 16 through December 31, the nonresident annual harvest limit is one king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length; any king salmon harvested from January 1 through July 15 will apply towards the one fish annual harvest limit;
- 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.
Coho (silver) Salmon
Silver salmon are currently abundant in marine waters around Prince of Wales with fish moving closer to their natal streams as September approaches. Fall run coho are starting to enter freshwater drainages with peak timing in mid-September.
Pink and Chum Salmon
Pink and chum salmon are present in most drainages on Prince of Wales and have or will start spawning soon.
Sockeye (red) Salmon
Sockeye salmon are present in some of the drainages on Prince of Wales but are approaching spawning. Systems that get sockeye include Hatchery Creek and the Thorne, Sarkar, and Karta rivers.
Trout and Dolly Varden
Rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and Dolly Varden are available in many of the freshwater drainages of POW. Dolly Varden and trout feed opportunistically and will start concentrating on salmon eggs once salmon start spawning. 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 is good and should remain so throughout the fall.
Lingcod fishing can be very good around Prince of Wales. Lingcod regulations can be found in the 2022 regulation summary.
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 the species targeted). 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
Please refer to the rockfish conservation page for additional information regarding rockfish identification and management.
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.