Saturday, March 26, 2016

New brown bear regulations to impact resident hunters

The Board of Game has been meeting in Fairbanks March 18 - 28, 2016 to consider statewide proposals. The Board passed two proposals that are of particular interest to local resident brown bear hunters – one regulation to extend the brown bear tag fee exemption in certain areas, and one that allows the sale of brown bear hides.

  • PROPOSAL 57 - 5 AAC 92.200(b). Purchase and sale of game. Allow the sale of brown bear hides and/or skulls by resident hunters as follows:  Statewide; allow resident Alaskan hunters to sell the hides with claws attached and/or skulls of legally taken brown bears harvested in units where the bag limit is two or more bears per season.
  • PROPOSAL 129 - 5AAC 92.015. Brown bear tag fee exemption (a) A resident tag is not required for taking a brown bear in certain areas, including within five miles of the communities of Cold Bay, King Cove, Sand Point, and Nelson Lagoon, within five miles of Port Moller and  within three miles of the community of False Pass.  
Currently, brown bear tag fee exemptions must be reauthorized annually or the fee will be automatically reinstated.

Another proposal passed by the Board impacts resident & non-resident black & brown bear hunters.
  • PROPOSAL 56 - 5 AAC 92.220(e). Salvage of game meat, furs, and hides. Prohibits the transport of hide and skull of black or brown bear from the field until edible meat has been salvaged.
You can find more information from the Fairbanks meeting, including a summary of Board actions, here.

Monday, March 7, 2016

South Peninsula State pot cod season opens at Noon March 7

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.