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(a) The purpose of the Kamishak Bay District herring management plan under this section is to promote and maintain the viability of the herring stock in the Kamishak Bay District and stabilize the commercial fishery targeting the herring stock by using conservative management strategies that support a biologically sound and sustainable commercial fishery. This management plan describes the management strategies used to set and implement the guideline harvest levels for the Kamishak Bay sac roe fishery. Since herring that spawn in the Kamishak Bay District are known to be present in waters of north Shelikof Strait during part of the year, this plan also sets guidelines for the allocation of the Kamishak Bay herring stock to the Shelikof Strait food and bait herring fishery, as described in 5 AAC 27.535.
(b) The management year for the Kamishak Bay herring stock is July 1 - June 30.
(c) The allocation of the allowable harvest of the Kamishak Bay herring stock is 90 percent to the Kamishak Bay sac roe fishery, and 10 percent to the Shelikof Strait food and bait fishery.
(d) The guideline harvest level for the fall Shelikof Strait food and bait fishery and the following spring Kamishak Bay sac roe fishery will be based on the projected biomass as determined by the most recent aerial surveys, age class composition, historical mortality, recruitment trends, and other relevant data that is collected by the department.
(e) The maximum allowable exploitation rate for the Kamishak Bay herring stock is 15 percent of the spawning biomass. The department will determine the exploitation rate based on the age class structure of the forecasted biomass, the degree of biomass uncertainty as measured by the adequacy of recent years' aerial survey conditions and coverage, and the following guidelines:
(1) if the projected spawning biomass is 24,000 short tons or more, the department will establish a guideline harvest level of herring based on an exploitation rate between zero and 15 percent;
(2) if the projected spawning biomass is at least 14,000 short tons, but less than 24,000 short tons, the department will establish a guideline harvest level of herring based on an exploitation rate between zero and 12.5 percent;
(3) if the projected spawning biomass is at least 6,000 short tons, but less than 14,000 short tons, the department will establish a guideline harvest level of herring based on an exploitation rate between zero and 10 percent;
(4) if the projected spawning biomass is less than the minimum threshold of 6,000 short tons, the Kamishak Bay sac roe fishery and the Shelikof Strait food and bait fishery north of the latitude of Miners Point (57ΓΈ 54.00' N. lat.) will be closed.
(f) The management strategy for the Kamishak Bay sac roe fishery is to target older age classes of herring, and to limit the exploitation rate of recruit age herring, which are fish age five and younger, to 10 percent or less. In order to provide maximum protection to recruit age herring, a further reduction of the exploitation rates set out in (e) of this section, or a complete closure of the affected fisheries, may be implemented if the biomass projection, or inseason test fishing, indicates a higher percentage of fish are recruit age herring.
History: Eff. 4/7/93, Register 126; am 3/8/2002, Register 161
Authority: AS 16.05.251
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Last modified 7/05/2006