KETCHIKAN (KDN) — The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has published the regional schedule of time periods during which the at-sea filleting and de-heading of sport-caught king salmon, coho salmon, lingcod and slope rockfish is prohibited in Southeast Alaska.

The restriction is intended to maximize the information obtained during the department's "creel survey" angler interview and dockside fish sampling programs, according to the department announcement.

"On-site sampling is conducted during the fishing season at many harbors to estimate sport fishing effort and harvest, and contribution of hatchery and wild stocks of king and coho salmon to regional sport fisheries," states the announcement.

The state's fishery management plans that have been adopted by the Alaska Board of Fisheries require length and sex information for lingcod, length data for slope rockfish, and the identification of tagged king and coho salmon — "which can only be obtained when fish are intact," according to the announcement.

"Marine boat anglers returning to any port on the road system of the communities listed below, during the times designated, may not fillet, mutilate, or de-head these fish until their vessel is tied up at a docking facility where the fish will be offloaded, unless the fish have been consumed or preserved on board," states the announcement

In southern Southeast Alaska, the prohibitions are in effect as follows:

• Craig: May 10 through 11:59 p.m. Aug. 29.

• Klawock: May 10 through 11:59 p.m. Aug. 29.

• Ketchikan: 12:01 a.m. May 24 through 11:59 p.m. Sept. 12.

• Wrangell: 12:01 a.m. May 24 through 11:59 p.m. Aug. 29.

• Petersburg: 12:01 a.m. May 24 through 11:59 p.m. Aug. 29.

This restriction does not prohibit gutting and gilling fish before returning to port, according to the announcement.

"Anglers may fillet and head king and coho salmon, lingcod, and slope rockfish on board a vessel once it is tied up at a docking facility where the fish will be offloaded," it states.

The announcement defines slope rockfish as "all rockfish that are not included in either the pelagic (black, dusky, yellowtail, widow, dark, and blue rockfish) or the demersal shelf rockfish species group (yelloweye, quillback, copper, china, canary, tiger, and rosethorn rockfish)."

Of the slope rockfish species found in the Southeast Alaska sport fishery, the most common include the silvergray, rougheye, shortraker, redbanded and vermilion rockfish.

The demersal shelf rockfish species may not be retained during 2021, according to Fish and Game.

The department website has a flyer that can assist anglers in identifying rockfish.

For further information, contact Fish and Game.