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Title 5 . Fish and Game
Chapter 28 . Transportation, Possession and Release of Live Fish; Aquatic Farming
Section 267. Prince William Sound Pacific Cod Management Plan

5 AAC 28.267. Prince William Sound Pacific Cod Management Plan

(a) This management plan governs the harvest of Pacific cod in the Prince William Sound Area.

(b) Each year the commissioner shall open and close, by emergency order, a parallel season in the Prince William Sound Area to coincide with the initial federal season in the federal Central Gulf of Alaska Area. The commissioner shall open and close, by emergency order, the parallel season during which the use of the same gear allowed in the federal Central Gulf of Alaska Area Pacific cod season is permitted, unless use of that gear is prohibited under 5 AAC 28.050 or 5 AAC 28.230.

(c) The commissioner shall open, by emergency order, a state waters season in the Prince William Sound Area seven days following the closure of the directed federal season in the Central Gulf of Alaska Area and shall close, by emergency order, the state waters season, as follows:

(1) for mechanical jigging machines and hand troll gear, when the guideline harvest level is reached or December 31, whichever occurs first;

(2) for pots, when 60 percent of the guideline harvest level is reached or December 31, whichever occurs first; if the season is closed before October 1 because 60 percent of the guideline harvest level has been reached and the remaining guideline harvest level has not been taken by mechanical jigging machines and hand troll gear, the commissioner shall open, by emergency order, the fishing season on October 1; that season shall remain open until the guideline harvest level is reached or December 31, whichever occurs first.

(d) The commissioner may open and close, by emergency order, fishing seasons at times other than those specified in this management plan if

(1) the guideline harvest level specified in (e)(2) of this section has been reached and a federal season is ongoing in adjacent federal waters; or

(2) the commissioner determines it is necessary to

(A) adapt to unanticipated openings or closures of the federal season;

(B) maintain sustained yield management; or

(C) provide for orderly fisheries.

(e) During a state waters season,

(1) Pacific cod may be taken only in the waters of the Inside District and the Western Section of the Outside District described in 5 AAC 28.205;

(2) the guideline harvest level for Pacific cod is 10 percent of the estimated total allowable harvest of Pacific cod for the federal Eastern Gulf of Alaska Area;

(3) Pacific cod may be taken only with groundfish pots, mechanical jigging machines, and hand troll gear, as follows:

(A) no more than 60 groundfish pots may be operated from a vessel registered to fish for Pacific cod;

(B) no more than five mechanical jigging machines may be operated from a vessel registered to fish for Pacific cod;

(C) in addition to the requirements of 5 AAC 28.020, a vessel must be registered to fish with pot gear or with mechanical jigging machines and hand troll gear (jig gear), and may be registered to fish with only one of these two gear types; a vessel's gear registration may be changed during a state waters season to a different gear registration if the owner, or the owner's agent, submits a written request for a change in registration by mail, facsimile, or in person, to the department office in Cordova, or other locations specified by the department, for validation, and that registration has been validated by the department;

(4) if the guideline harvest level specified in (2) of this subsection is reached in any calendar year, the guideline harvest level will be increased beginning the next calendar year to 15 percent of the estimated total allowable harvest of Pacific cod for the federal Eastern Gulf of Alaska Area; if the 15 percent guideline harvest level is reached in any calendar year after it has been implemented, the guideline harvest level will be increased beginning the next calendar year to 25 percent of the total allowable harvest of Pacific cod for the federal Eastern Gulf of Alaska Area.

(f) The Prince William Sound Area is an exclusive registration area for Pacific cod during a state waters season.

(g) If at any time after October 30, the commissioner determines that the guideline harvest level will not be reached by December 31, the commissioner may close, by emergency order, the fishing season and immediately reopen a state waters season during which the following shall be implemented to increase the harvest rate in an attempt to reach the guideline harvest level:

(1) limits on the number of groundfish pots and mechanical jigging machines that may be operated from a vessel are removed; or

(2) if needed, in addition to (1) of this subsection, designate the Prince William Sound Area as a nonexclusive registration area for Pacific cod.

(h) If the season is closed and immediately reopened under (g) of this section, a vessel participating in the state waters season when it was closed will not be required to comply with the landing requirements of 5 AAC 28.271 until the season is closed again.

(i) Repealed 7/5/2000.

History: Eff. 4/4/97, Register 142; am 11/27/97, Register 144; am 3/30/2000, Register 153; am 7/5/2000, Register 155; am 5/31/2001, Register 158; am 5/11/2003, Register 166

Authority: AS 16.05.060

AS 16.05.251


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Last modified 7/05/2006