Doug Vincent-Lang, Commissioner
304 Lake Street
(Sitka) - Subsistence and sport shrimp fisheries in the Hoonah Sound portion of Section 13-C will remain 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 12:01 a.m. Sunday, January 1 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, December 31, 2023 (Figure 1).
The Section 13-C spot shrimp survey has been conducted annually by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game from 1999 through 2014 and from 2017 through 2022. From 1999–2014 the spot shrimp population in Hoonah Sound was considered healthy and relatively stable based on survey data and commercial fishing harvests. Beginning in 2015, commercial spot shrimp harvest data indicated declining stock health. Spot shrimp surveys conducted in Hoonah Sound from 2017–2022 have shown a continued decline in the numbers and the catch rates of younger, small spot shrimp. The catch rate of large spot shrimp in 2022 has also declined when compared to the previous two surveys.
The subsistence and sport shrimp fisheries have been closed in Hoonah Sound since March of 2020. Additionally, the commercial pot shrimp fishery in Section 13-C will be closed through the remainder of the 2022/23 season. The continued closures of these shrimp fisheries are warranted to protect the younger age classes and the older female spot shrimp to aid in the recovery of the stock.
Figure 1: Subsistence and sport shrimp fishing closed (crosshatched area) in Sitka Section 13-C for 2023.