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Alaska fishing: Valdez area

Valdez is located in the northeast corner of Prince William SoundSpecies

Valdez is one of the most active summer communities in all of Prince William Sound. It is home to the oldest fish derby in Alaska and has the well-deserved reputation of being the pink salmon capital of the world. Anglers have the opportunity to fish in either salt or fresh water while being surrounded by some of the most majestic mountains and glaciers in the state. Valdez and the surrounding Chugach Mountains offer such awesome alpine scenery that this community is sometimes referred to as “Little Switzerland.”
Surrounding salt waters offer opportunities for pink, silver, king, and chum salmon. Pinks and silvers can be caught directly from shore as well as by boat. Anglers who venture out into the adjacent seas will encounter all four of these species, as well as rockfish, lingcod, and Pacific halibut. However, the 700 lb gorilla of the salt-water show is always the pink. Millions return to Valdez during even-numbered years.  Some parts of Port Valdez will actually look black due to the unbelievable numbers of fish.

Salmon that reach the fresh water streams and rivers surrounding Valdez include pink, silver, and an occasional sockeye. Dolly Varden char can also be found in those same waters. Some nearby ponds and lakes are stocked with rainbow trout and anglers who depart the community and head for the interior will also find artic grayling along the way.

Area Sponsor

If you are a Valdez area provider of services or goods for sport fishermen, we invite you to advertise in this space.  We want to provide both additional information about Valdez fishing and an opportunity for you to make people aware of what you do.  We can take up to 125 words.  We will work with you on the exact wording so that it provides information for those who read and helps you at the same time.  The text can include your website address and other contact information.  We would also like to display one of your best photos in this space -- we want to illustrate Valdez fishing and at the same time show what you are doing. If you would like to sponsor this page, please contact contact Pam at 1.907.895-4919; 9 - 5 Alaska time.   The cost is only $96 for one year. 


The Port of Valdez is the gateway to Interior Alaska and the terminus of Trans-Alaska pipeline. It holds a year round population of about 4,500 residents that swells considerably during the summer. Besides the derbies, area events include glacier cruises, kayaking, trail hiking, and birding. There are numerous B&B’s, ample hotels and restaurants, RV campgrounds, a shopping district, and even a museum. Reservations are recommended.

The Trans Alaska Pipeline Valdez Terminus from the north shore of Port ValdezThe seas that surround Valdez are rich with life. Above the waves fly numerous species of year round and migratory birds. On the waves float sea otters, harbor seals, and Stellar sea lions. Below the waves swim Dall porpoise, Humpback and Orca whales. 

The land is just as interesting. Nearby cliffs are home to mountain goats and Dall sheep, and further to the interior the landscape holds populations of both black and brown bears. The five major glaciers that you can visit from Valdez, including the largest in North America, offer excellent exploring opportunities.


Best saltwater times in the Valdez area (ADF&G data)




King salmon (feeder kings)

year round


Coho salmon

mid-July through September

Late July  through early September

Pink salmon

mid-June through late August

Late July

Chum salmon

May through August

June and July


year round

year round


July through December

July through September

Pacific halibut

February through December

early June through mid-August

Best freshwater times in the Valdez area (ADF&G data)




Pink salmon

July through September


Coho salmon

August through October

mid-September through early October

Sockeye salmon

mid to late June

mid to late June

Dolly Varden Char

year round

June and July

rainbow trout

year round

June through August

artic grayling

year round

May through September

Area fishing picture sponsor picture

We invite a Valdez fishing service provider  to advertise in this spot.  The cost is $60 for a year.  You can provide up to 50 words.  We will include a hyperlink to your website. We want to provide visitors a good illustration of what fishing is like in Valdez -- and show what you are doing, too.  If you would like to provide a picture for this spot, please contact contact Pam at 1.907.895-4919;  9 - 5 Alaska time.


Valdez lies at sea level and is reachable by land, sea, or air. A 35 minute jet flight from Anchorage can put you there, or you can elect to drive the 305 mile route through stunning interior scenery of mountain passes, waterfalls, and desolate road wilderness.

One of the more interesting ways to arrive at Valdez is via the Alaska Marine Highway, where you can ferry your vehicle from Whittier (just east of Anchorage) to the port itself. This is by far the most scenic way to discover the majesty of Prince William Sound. Visitors also have the opportunity to experience the best of both worlds by traveling back to Anchorage via the interior highway. However, space is usually limited in the months, so plan on making reservations months ahead.

Click for Valdez, Alaska ForecastWeather

Weather conditions in Prince William Sound can change quickly -- layered clothing and raingear are a must. Mid-summer is the best time for favorable weather, with average highs ranging form the 50’s to 70’s.

Valdez Sponsors


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directory listings

Destination Information Resources

The Chamber of Commerce in Valdez has an excellent website. Consult the Alaska Marine Highway if you plan to ship your vehicle, and most importantly, check out the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s website for more detailed information on fishing in Valdez.  You can also check out the page for information regarding camping, hotels, and a brief history of the area.

Other resources

An Alaska Department of Fish and Game Publication: Fishing for Salmon in Prince William Sound  (PDF file)

Valdez area sport fishing opportunities ADF&G publication (PDF file)

The ADF&G Sport Fish Division for Southcentral Alaska

Alaska Wildlife (including fish) Notebook Series

Current fishing report from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (updated regularly during the summer months)


Search the Alaska Outdoors Supersite for fishing information

Area Descriptions for Southcentral Alaska

Anchorage fishing
Cordova fishing
Homer fishing

Kenai fishing
Kodiak fishing
Matanuska/Susitna/West Cook Inlet fishing
Prince William Sound fishing
Seward fishing
Upper Copper / Upper Susitna area fishing
Valdez fishing

Whittier Fishing

Area Descriptions for other regions of the state

Arctic, Yukon and Kuskokwim

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