State fisheries officials have set a Feb. 14 deadline for bids to participate in a Prince William Sound test fishery from Feb. 22 through April 7, to harvest up to 30,000 pounds of Tanner crab.
Six lots of up to 5,000 pounds each are available in defined areas of the Northern and Hinchinbrook districts, according to Jan Rumble and Elisa Russ, shellfish area management biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game at Homer. The goal is to determine the legal male catch rate, male size composition, and distribution of Tanner crab in the Northern and Hinchinbrook districts.
Bids will be accepted for six individual lots for a maximum of 5,000 pounds each, at a minimum bid price of 35 cents a pound, with the contract to be awarded to the highest bidders for each lot. Vessel owners are welcome to bid on more than one lot.
In the event of a tie, the winner will be decided via a random drawing.
Costs associated with the test fishery will be assumed by the successful bidder.
Fishing is strictly limited to the Northern and Hinchinbrook districts, Registration Area E, with a maximum gear limit of 25 Tanner crab pots per vessel, and pots must be set within 0.5 nautical miles of the 25 mandatory pot locations defined. Log sheets and daily call-ins are required, and all requested information must be reported for each pot location.
Vessels must accommodate ADF&G observers upon request. Adequate notice will be given before vessel departures to allow for observer deployment.
Participating vessels may only deliver their catch from one lot during a test fishery trip. While they are allowed to participate in both the PWS test fishery and the PWS commissioner’s permit Tanner crab fishery, mixed deliveries are not permitted. Vessels may haul gear only from one fishery during a single trip.
All Tanner crab harvested during the PWS test fishery must be offloaded before hauling gear in the commissioner’s permit fishery and conversely vessels must offload all Tanner crab from the Commissioner’s permit fishery before hauling gear in the PWS test fishery. Vessels participating in the PWS test fishery must check in with ADF&G before fishing, give prior notice of landing, and check out before fishing in the commissioner’s permit fishery.
Those interested in obtaining a request-for-quotation sheet should contact Rumble or Russ at ADF&G in Homer or leave a request with contact information at 907-235-8191.