Assistant Area Management Biologist
March 23, 2016
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is reducing the number of allowable pots per vessel in the 2016 noncommercial Prince William Sound shrimp pot fishery from five pots to four pots. The season remains the same and will be open from April 15 through September 15 with no daily or annual bag limits. Noncommercial users include sport, personal-use, and subsistence shrimpers.
The total allowable harvest level (TAH) of shrimp in Prince William Sound by noncommercial and commercial users is determined each year using the previous year’s effort and harvest and results from an annual pot shrimp survey conducted by the department in October. As mandated by the Prince William Sound Shrimp Management Plan, the TAH is then divided between the noncommercial (60%) and commercial (40%) fisheries to create Guideline Harvest Levels (GHL) for each fishery. In 2016, the TAH is determined to be 117,500 pounds of shrimp. Of that total, 70,500 pounds is allocated to noncommercial shrimpers.
Noncommercial participation and harvest levels over the last three years have been fairly consistent and average 89,500 pounds annually. The department anticipates effort and harvest to be similar in 2016. If no management action is taken, the noncommercial GHL would likely be substantially exceeded. Therefore, in order to reduce harvest and stay within guideline harvest levels, the department is reducing pot limits from five pots per vessel to four pots per vessel.
All participants are still required to have a permit. Permits are now available online at: www.fish.alaska.gov/PWS/ . Permits will also be available at department offices and select fishing license vendors after March 31. For more information about specific regulations of the Prince William Sound shrimp fishery, refer to page 9 of the 2016 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulation Summary.
Please contact Jay Baumer in Anchorage at 267-2265 with any questions regarding the Prince William Sound shrimp fisheries or permitting requirements.