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(a) The department shall manage the Shelikof Strait food and bait herring fishery in the waters set out in 5 AAC 27.505(a) (West Afognak District), 5 AAC 27.505(b) (North Afognak District), 5 AAC 27.505(d) (Uganik District), and 5 AAC 27.505(e) (Uyak District), so that the total harvest does not exceed the combined guideline harvest level, established in (b), for these districts and the allowable harvest of the Kamishak spawning stocks that overwinter in Shelikof Strait, as determined under the Kamishak Bay District herring management plan set out in 5 AAC 27.465. The waters set out in 5 AAC 27.505(k) (North Mainland District) and 5 AAC 27.505( l ) (Mid Mainland District) shall be managed based on the guideline harvest level for these districts as established in (b), however, these districts will be closed when the guideline harvest level is reached in the Shelikof Strait fishery.
(b) The department shall establish guideline harvest levels for the herring food and bait fisheries for each section of the districts specified in (a) of this section, which may not exceed 10 percent of the guideline harvest level of that section in the previous sac roe season.
(c) The department shall manage the remaining districts of the food and bait herring fishery, so that the harvest does not exceed the combined sum of the guideline harvest levels of the individual sections of a district. The department may manage the food and bait fishery, including the Shelikof Strait fishery, by section of a district, if the harvest location, age class composition of the harvest, or biomass estimates indicate a harvest has occurred on a single herring spawning stock.
(d) When the Kamishak Bay herring spawning biomass is below 6,000 short tons, the commissioner shall close, by emergency order, the food and bait fishery in Shelikof Strait north of the latitude of Miners Point (57ΓΈ 54.00' N. lat.).
(e) The department shall manage the sac roe herring fishery to provide opportunities for gillnet permit holders to harvest approximately 25 percent and purse seine permit holders to harvest approximately 75 percent of the total preseason guideline harvest level for the management area as follows; the commissioner shall issue emergency orders as necessary:
(1) based on the department's assessment of
(A) biomass, recent spawning areas, and status of a herring stock in a bay or complex of bays, adjacent sections may be combined and managed as a single section; and
(B) effort levels, harvest rates, and the department's ability to monitor the fishery, the length of the fishing periods for either or both gear groups may be increased or reduced;
(2) except as provided in (4) of this subsection, the department shall establish guideline harvest levels each year by section based on information such as historical data, current and past fishery performance, sampling of commercial catches, and aerial surveys as follows:
(A) except in districts where only one section is open for fishing, the department shall designate one legal gear type for each section with a guideline harvest level unless, the allocation by gear type within a district cannot be achieved;
(B) in districts where only one section is open for fishing, the department will, in its discretion, assign a portion of the guideline harvest level to each gear type;
(C) for allocative purposes only,
(i) the North Mainland, Mid Mainland, and South Mainland Districts will be considered one district; and
(ii) the North Afognak, West Afognak, and South Afognak Districts will be considered one district;
(D) each district having more than one section that is open for fishing will have approximately 20 to 30 percent of the guideline harvest level for the district allocated to the gillnet permit holders and 70 to 80 percent allocated to the purse seine permit holders;
(3) an individual section shall be closed to fishing once that section's guideline harvest level has been achieved; the guideline harvest level for an individual section may be adjusted downward inseason depending on observed stock abundance; the department may make adjustments in the management of a section based on inseason changes in fish behavior or harvest patterns; these changes may result in an adjacent section closure;
(4) a section that does not have an extensive history of sac roe production may be designated as exploratory with no specified guideline harvest level; permit holders for either gear type may fish in an exploratory section; a section listed as exploratory under this paragraph may be opened or closed, based on inseason information such as observed stock abundance, harvest levels, and changes in fish behavior or harvest patterns, including such changes in adjacent sections;
(5) a section that has been closed because its guideline harvest level has been achieved may be reopened, if the department determines that additional herring arriving on the grounds have increased the available biomass to the point that the initial exploitation rate has dropped below 10 percent for that stock; any reopening will require information indicating that juvenile herring, post spawners, or other forage fish are not present and that the department has the ability to monitor and regulate the reopening on the grounds; the department shall give at least 24 hours' advance notice before a section is reopened under this paragraph;
(6) the Kodiak herring sac roe fishery is intended to occur in an orderly fashion, with minimal waste of resource and within conservation limits as determined by the department, while striving for the highest quality product;
(7) in this subsection, "section" means a section as described in 5 AAC 27.505.
History: In effect before 1982; am 4/14/82, Register 82; am 5/11/85, Register 94; am 5/31/85, Register 94; am 6/2/88, Register 106; am 4/14/93, Register 126; am 3/30/96, Register 137; am 5/29/99, Register 150; am 4/16/2000, Register 154; am 3/8/2002, Register 161; am 5/4/2002, Register 162; am 4/9/2005, Register 174
Authority: AS 16.05.060
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Last modified 7/05/2006