Doug Vincent-Lang, Commissioner
Sitka Area Office
Subsistence and sport shrimp fisheries in the Hoonah Sound portion of District 13 will be closed north and west of a line from 57°35.07′ N lat, 135°33.57′ W long to 57°37.89′ N lat, 135°28.65′ W long, from 12:00 a.m. Friday, January 1 through 11:59 p.m. Friday, December 31, 2021 (Figure 1).
The District 13 spot shrimp survey was conducted annually from 1999 through 2014 and from 2017 through 2020. From 1999–2014 the shrimp population in Hoonah Sound was considered healthy and relatively stable based on survey and commercial fishing data. Beginning in 2015, commercial fishing data indicated declining stock health. Survey results from 2017–2020 indicate the health of the spot shrimp population in Hoonah Sound declined and remains poor. Survey catch rates of both small and large size class shrimp declined from 2017 to 2019 with the 2019 catch rates among the lowest for each size class in the history of the survey. In 2020, the catch rate of small size class shrimp increased but was still below the long-term average; the catch rate of large class shrimp saw marked improvement in 2020. Size information collected from the 2020 survey continues to suggest that several younger generations of shrimp are still experiencing very poor survival.
The Section 13-C commercial fishery was closed for the 2020/21 season and will remain closed through the 2021/22 season. The subsistence and sport fisheries first closed in March 2020. The continued closure of shrimp fisheries in the Hoonah Sound portion of District 13 is warranted in order to protect the female spot shrimp and to aid in the recovery of the stock.
Figure 1. Hoonah Sound subsistence and sport fisheries closure.