The South Alaska Peninsula state-waters Pacific cod season for pot gear opens today March 7th at noon. Vessels 58ft and under may participate in the fishery with a limit of 60 pots. The total GHL for the South Peninsula state-waters pot cod is 22,769,927 lbs, up from 21,757,443 lbs last year. There were 30 vessels registered so far on Friday, vs 42 vessels participating last year. Only tagged pots may be stored after the first week of the season and stored pots should be bait-free with doors secured open. The P/V Stimson will be patrolling from Kodiak to King Cove beginning March 10, checking fishing and stored gear for tags and licenses aboard vessels.
ADFG groundfish manager Nat Nichols came to King Cove Friday March 4th for a pre-season meeting with fishermen. He emphasized that communication is key to a successful season, as more uncertainty leads to a more cautious approach to management, and he thanked the fishermen for their cooperation in the past. ADFG will go through the dispatch list each morning, but fishermen should feel free to call in if they miss the initial call or if they have other concerns. Cooperation with dockside samplers is much appreciated.
The Kodiak pot cod season for a GHL of 6.8 million lbs opened and finished in February and Chignik opened last week for a 8.5 million GHL. The Dutch Harbor Sub-district season on the north side is ongoing with virtually double the fishing area as last year and a GHL of 35,979,072, and has attracted boats from the South Pen fishery. Each of these state pot cod fisheries is exclusive, meaning you may only register for one. The 2016 Fishery Management Plan for South Alaska Peninsula Pacific cod can be found here.