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(a) The purpose of this management plan is to establish criteria for the herring pound spawn-on-kelp fishery in the Norton Sound District.
(b) The commissioner, or the commissioner's designee, shall issue a permit for participation in the herring pound spawn-on-kelp fishery if
(1) an applicant holds a valid Norton Sound herring gillnet or beach seine CFEC interim-use permit or limited entry permit; and
(2) an applicant applies for the herring pound spawn-on-kelp permit before April 16 of each calendar year.
(c) A permit holder that participates in the herring pound spawn-on-kelp fishery may not also participate in the wild herring spawn-on-kelp fishery or the gillnet or beach seine sac roe herring fishery in the Norton Sound District during the same year.
(d) The herring allocation for the herring pound spawn-on-kelp fishery may not be more than 320 tons of herring. The department shall deduct this allocation from the total annual herring harvest projection before determining the seine harvest allocation under 5 AAC 27.960.
(e) The herring spawn-on-kelp guideline harvest level may not be more than 90 tons. The herring spawn-on-kelp guideline harvest level includes the combined weight of herring eggs and kelp.
(f) The department shall manage the herring pound spawn-on-kelp fishery to achieve the spawn-on-kelp guideline harvest level by restricting the number of blades of kelp that may be suspended from a herring pound as follows:
(1) no more than a total of 75,000 blades of kelp are allowed in the herring pound spawn-on-kelp fishery; and
(2) the maximum number of blades of kelp any permit holder may attach to a herring pound is 3,000; if more than 25 permits are issued for the herring pound spawn-on-kelp fishery, the department shall determine the number of blades of kelp a permit holder may attach to a herring pound by dividing 75,000 by the number of permits issued.
(g) Before a permit holder attaches kelp to a herring pound, the permit holder must plainly and legibly mark the permit holder's name and five digit CFEC permit number in a conspicuous place on the herring pound. After fishing commences until the season is closed, the CFEC permit number marked on a herring pound may be changed. For purposes of this subsection, fishing commences when a permit holder first attaches kelp to the herring pound in the water.
(h) Only one permit holder may operate a herring pound at a time.
(i) The permit holder must be physically present at any time when kelp is being attached to the herring pound and when herring spawn on kelp is harvested from the herring pound. The permit holder shall weigh the spawn on kelp when it is removed from the herring pound and provide that information to a local representative of the department who is designated as a catch monitor for the fishery.
(j) Before the herring pound spawn-on-kelp permits are issued, the commissioner may specify on the permits any other criteria that the commissioner determines is necessary for the conservation and management of herring and kelp and the herring pound spawn-on-kelp fishery.
(k) After a person removes the spawn-on-kelp from the herring pound, the person shall maintain the pound structure at it present fishing location for not less than four weeks in its original configuration with adequate water circulation on all sides to optimize egg hatching. Not later than six weeks after a person removes the spawn on kelp from a structure, the person shall remove the structure and leads from the water.
( l ) Repealed 5/19/99.
(m) For the purposes of this section, a "herring pound" is a structure or a means of suspending kelp in the water to provide spawning substrate for herring to be harvested as spawn on kelp. The structure may not have an enclosure, but may have two leads. A lead may not be more than 300 feet in length measured from shore to a point on the structure. The lead shall consist of a seine weight net with meshes of not more than two inches stretched measure, a cork line, a lead line, and anchors at either end.
History: Eff. 5/16/98, Register 146; am 5/19/99, Register 150; am 4/5/2001, Register 158
Authority: AS 16.05.251
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Last modified 7/05/2006