(Released: July 12, 2017 - Expired: February 28, 2018)
Division of Sport Fish
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Contact: Carol Kerkvliet, Area Management Biologist
(Homer) - The Alaska Board of Fisheries (BOF) adopted the following regulations that change the Cook Inlet Tanner Crab fisheries:
- The personal use fishery was repealed to reduce redundancy and complexity. As a result, the noncommercial Tanner crab fishery is now defined as sport or subsistence fisheries.
- The legal size of male Tanner crab was reduced from 5.5 inches to 4.5 inches based on new analyses of male size-at-maturity.
- A limited noncommercial fishery was established from October 1 through the end of February. During this fishery, gear is limited to one pot per person with a maximum of one pot per vessel, bag and possession is limited to three legal size male Tanner crab and a permit is required for each person who participates in the fisheries. The sport fishery permits are expected to be available online by September 1.
To open the Tanner crab noncommercial fishery earlier than October 1, 5 AAC 35.408 Registration Area H Tanner Crab Harvest Strategy, requires the department to conduct a trawl survey to determine abundance thresholds of legal size Tanner crab. Trawl surveys were last conducted in 2013 for Kachemak Bay and 2012 for Kamishak Bay. Survey results of legal male Tanner crab were below the thresholds needed to prosecute a noncommercial fishery July 15 through March 15 as described in regulation, so this fishery has remained closed consistent with the harvest strategy.
The harvest strategy also includes a provision to open a limited noncommercial fishery in the absence of a trawl survey. Since no trawl survey has been conducted in 2017, this fishery will be open October 1, 2017, through February 28, 2018, with the more conservative pot and bag limits described above.
For more information, please contact biologists Carol Kerkvliet or Jan Rumble in Homer at (907) 235-8191.