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Alaska Department of Fish and Game


Cook Inlet and North Gulf Coast Personal Use Tanner Crab Fishery
Permits & Regulations

This fishery is managed by emergency order, the fishery may not open or may close at any time, or the bag limits may be reduced at any time.  Always check with your local ADF&G office before going crabbing.

Remember that all Shellfish may be exposed to the algae that causes Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning. For more information, see the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning page (PDF 90 kB).

Remember, bag, possession, and pot limits for shellfish allowed under personal use MAY NOT be added to bag, possession, and pot limits under sport or subsistence fishing regulations.

A permit is required, permits may be obtained from ADF&G offices in:

Male Tanner crab may be taken only from July 15 through March 15, except that

  • in Kachemak Bay east of a line from Anchor Point to Point Pogibshi male Tanner crab may only be taken from July 15 through December 31, and from January 15 or the beginning of the commercial Tanner crab season, whichever is later, through March 15; and
  • when the personal use fishery in the Kamishak District or Barren Islands District is closed to the taking of Tanner crab, the personal use fishery in the Eastern, Outer, and Central Districts shall also remain closed as specified under 5 AAC 35.410(c) ;

The daily bag and possession limit is five male Tanner crab.

Only male Tanner crab five and one-half inches or greater in width of shell may be taken or possessed.

In Cook Inlet area waters, including Kachemak Bay, gear is limited to 2 pots per vessel. In North Gulf Coast waters, gear is limited to 2 pots per person with a maximum of 6 pots per vessel.

Crab Pot Requirements Color Brochure (PDF 536 kB)

Rigid mesh pots: Pots must have at least one opening in a sidewall, which may include the tunnel.  The opening of a king crab or Tanner crab pot must be equal to or exceed a 12-inch by 8-inch rectangle, and the opening of a shrimp pot must be at least the size of a 4-inch square.  The opening may be covered with a single panel secured to pot with no more than four single loops of 100% untreated cotton twine no larger than 30-thread.  Each loop may only contain one knot and cannot be tied or looped around the web bars.  The panel must be attached so that when the twine degrades, the panel will drop away from the opening.  The opening must be within 6 inches of the bottom of the pot and parallel to it.

Net mesh pots: Pots must have a sidewall, which may include a tunnel, with an opening equal to or exceeding 18 inches in length for crab pots and 6-inches or greater in length for shrimp pots.  The opening must be laced, sewn, or secured together by a single length of untreated 100% cotton twine no larger than 30-thread.  The cotton twine may be knotted at each end only.  The opening must be within 6 inches of the bottom of the pot and parallel to it.  The cotton twine cannot be tied or looped around the web bars.

All bouys must be marked with the fisherman’s first initial, last name, home address, and vessel name or DMV registration number.

A person may not mutilate or otherwise disfigure a Tanner crab in any manner that would prevent the determination of the minimum size and sex restrictions in this section while the crab is uncooked and in possession aboard a vessel; only whole crab, cooked or uncooked, may be taken off a vessel.