Subsistence shrimp pot fishery opens April 15

Dates for the 2021 noncommercial Prince William Sound area shrimp pot fishery will run as usual, from April 15-Sept. 15, but the number of pots has been reduced in the wake of the 2020 season, when the harvest greatly exceeded the guideline harvest level.

State fisheries biologists have reduced the maximum number of pots allowed per person and per vessel in the noncommercial 2021 fishery from five to two.

The total allowable harvest for the noncommercial sector for this year was set at 175,000 pounds of shrimp, with a guideline harvest level of 105,000 pounds.

Last year the guideline harvest level for the noncommercial sector was 102,100 pounds and the harvest was estimated at 140,488 pounds, with a pot limit of three. In order to target the noncommercial guideline harvest level for this season a two-pot limit is warranted, given that participation is expected to be at a similar level, ADF&G officials said.

The total allowable harvest of shrimp in Prince William Sound is determined every year using historical harvest and effort, including the most recent season and results from an annual ADF&G shrimp pot survey. A total allowable harvest greater than 110,000 pounds will allow for opening of the commercial fishery.

As mandated by the Prince William Sound Shrimp Management Plan, the total allowable harvest is the allocated with the noncommercial sector getting 60% and commercial fisheries getting 40%.

Sport and subsistence shrimp permits are available online. Participants may report their harvest online after they are finished shrimp fishing for the season. The due date for reporting that harvest is Oct. 15.

For more information contact Jan Rumble at 907-321-1569 or Elisa Russ at 907-399-1721.