2nd period shrimp pot fishery open through May 7

Ezekiel Brown holds fresh Prince William Sound Spot Prawns on Wednesday, April 17, 2019. (Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times)

Gear limits remain at a maximum of 25 shrimp pots per vessel for the second period of the Prince William Sound commercial shrimp pot fishery, which opened on April 29 and will remain open May 7 at 8 p.m.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials are reminding vessel operators that they must observe the legal limit of pot gear in aggregate, on board the vessel, or in the water at any time.

Hours of gear operation remain at 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

ADF&G are closely monitoring the harvest through call-in reports and fish tickets, and fishermen must call the reporting line with pre-trip and landing reports at 907-226-3474 in order for the agency to monitor the harvest. Reporting requirements must be followed exactly, and enforcement action will result or non-compliance, area management biologists warned.

Harvesters are also reminded to monitor news releases and the call-in line for potential statistical area closures.

The first period of the Prince William Sound commercial shrimp pot fishery opened April 15, with a guideline harvest level of 68,100 pounds and closed on April 23, with a preliminary estimated harvest from vessel call-in reports showing 30,513 pounds of whole shrimp harvested by 67 vessels.

Estimated effort was 14,735 pot lifts with an average catch per unit effort of 2.04 pounds of whole shrimp per pot. Some 21,008 pounds, or 31 percent of the total guideline harvest level was harvested from statistical area 476036.

Participants are reminded that only 50 percent of the guidelines harvest level may be harvested in any one statistical area.