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Alaska fishing: Cordova area

Cordova area map

Species

Alaska holds many surprises for anglers who take the time to venture off the beaten path. This destination perched on the edge of Prince William Sound is a gem. The area is rich in wildlife, and surrounding seas hold all 5 species of Pacific salmon, Dolly Varden, char, steelhead and cutthroat trout, big halibut, lingcod and rockfish. But it is the freshwater where Cordova fishing really shines. Copper River king and sockeye salmon have achieved a measure of fame. Anglers seek them out along with four species of trout, Dolly Varden Char, burbot, coho salmon, and even whitefish and grayling. There are many excellent fishing opportunities here, both along the Copper River Highway and in nearby saltwater.

 

Area Sponsor

If you are a Cordova provider of services or goods for sport fishermen, we invite you to advertise in this space.  We want to provide both additional information about 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 area 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.

Geography

Cordova lies surrounded by forests and mountains at the western edge of the immense Copper River delta, and on the southeastern side of Prince William Sound. Approximately 2,500 year-round residents live here. Many make their living from the sea. Interestingly, the largest sea otter population in the world resides here, too.  Cordova is not accessible by land. Travelers must reach it either by air or by sea. It lies 52 air miles (84 kilometers) southeast of Valdez, and 150 miles (241 kilometers) southeast of Anchorage. Copper ore was what originally put Cordova on the map, and the now famous bridge was once a part bringing the ore to market. The mines were abandoned long ago, but the fishing goes on in this stunning setting of rugged wilderness with the Chugach Mountains as a backdrop. The mighty Copper River is the star, and its huge flow sets the stage for some of the most active glacier calving in Alaska.

Road System

The road system here is basically one long stretch to its end. This 47 mile (75.6 kilometer) mostly gravel pathway traverses the impressive wetlands of the delta and ends where the Million Dollar Bridge fell during massive 1964 “Good Friday earthquake”. The end of this setting is spectacular because it puts the visitor right next to the very active Childs Glacier. The road also leads the angler to numerous opportunities in fishing the Copper River along the way. Car rentals are available in the community.  Reserve your car well in advance. The town itself has much to offer the visitor in accommodations, restaurants, and scenic tours. Destination fly-out services to remote fisheries are also available.   According to ADF&G, bears are numerous in the area.  They advise anglers to use caution, especially when fishing in salmon spawning areas.

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

Species

Availability

Peak

King salmon

year round

January, February, June, November, December

Sockeye (red) salmon

June through September

July and August

Coho (silver) Salmon

June through September

July and August

Pink salmon

June through August

July and August

Chum salmon

May through August

June and July

Dolly Varden

year round

April, May, July through Sept.

Steelhead trout

year round

July and August

halibut

year round

June

Cutthroat trout

year round

April through September

rockfish

year round

year round

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

Species

Availability

Peak

King salmon

June and July

June and July

Sockeye (red) salmon

June through August

June through August

Coho (silver) salmon

August and September

August and September

Dolly Varden Char

year round

June and July

Steelhead trout

January through May September through December

September

Rainbow trout

year round

June through August

Cutthroat trout

year round

May through June

Grayling

year round

May through September

Whitefish

year round

year round

Lake Trout

year round

January through April, June, July, December

Burbot

year round

January through April, December

 
Halibut is just one of the many fishing options in Cordova.
Click for Cordova, Alaska Forecast

Transportation

Cordova has scheduled daily passenger jet service from Anchorage and Seattle via Juneau. The Alaska Marine Highway will ferry passengers and vehicles from Valdez, Seward, and Whittier year round. Advance reservations are advised.

 

 

Weather

Cordova can be wet. Precipitation averages 167 inches (424 cm) per year, so make sure you carry quality rain gear.  Summers tend to be less rainy than the fall and winter months. Summer temperatures range from 49o F (9o C) to 63 o F (17 o C). Winter brings temperatures to lows of 17 o F (-8 o C) and highs of 28 o F (-2 o C). Layer dressing is always the norm.

 
Cordova Sponsors

  None at this time
 

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Destination Information Resources

You can find information about Cordova in several places on the web.  First, the Cordova Chamber of Commerce has a quite useful website.  The Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Division of Sport Fish has assembled a good overview of the area from the fisherman's perspective.   Much of the Cordova area is in the Chugach National Forest's Cordova Ranger District.

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

Cordova Fishing Report

Useful books and videos about Cordova fishing

How to Catch Trophy Halibut
Sportfishing Alaska

 

Search the Alaska Outdoors Supersite for fishing information

Area Descriptions for Southcentral Alaska

Anchorage fishing
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Kenai fishing
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Matanuska/Susitna/West Cook Inlet fishing
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