KETCHIKAN (KDN) — The 2022 Southeast Alaska herring spawn-on-kelp pound fishery in the Craig/Klawock area (Section 3-B and District 4) will open by regulation at noon on March 17 according to an Alaska Department of Fish and Game announcement.
The minimum guideline harvest level is set at 5,060 tons, which puts the kelp allocation at the maximum allowed per permit.
The 2021/2022 guideline harvest level for the Craig/Klawock stock has been set at 12,650 tons of herring, and is based on the model forecasted mature spawning biomass of 63,250 tons and a harvest rate of 20%.
Regulations state that the winter food and bait fishery is allocated 60% of the guideline harvest level and 40% is allocated to the herring spawn-on-kelp fishery.
The Craig winter food and bait fishery closed on Feb. 28, with a “confidential harvest,” according to the announcement. The unharvested portion will be reallocated to the spawn-on-kelp fishery.
The kelp allocation per permit holder in place by regulation for the 2022 season is as follows:
● Single permit closed pound: 600 blades
● Double permit closed pound: 900 blades
● Triple permit closed pound: 1,000 blades
● Quad permit or more closed pound: 1,000 blades
● Single permit open pound: 3,000 blades
● Multiple permit open pound: 9,000 blades
According to the Fish and Game announcement, the Ernest Sound, Tenakee Inlet and Hoonah Sound herring spawn-on-kelp fisheries will be closed.
All pound operators must have a 2022 Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission Southern Southeast Alaska Spawn-on-Kelp pound limited entry permit prior to introducing kelp or herring into their pounds.
All macrocystis kelp harvesters must have a 2022 permit to harvest macrocystis kelp prior to harvesting kelp for a closed or open pound, according to the announcement.
Permits must be in the possession of the pound operator and kelp harvester at all times during fishing operations. Macrocystis kelp harvest permits are available at all Southeast Alaska Fish and Game offices.
The announcement advises that spawn-on-kelp fishermen and processors should read the 2022 Southeast Alaska herring spawn-on-kelp pound fishery management plan, which can be viewed online at the Fish and Game website at www.adfg.alaska.gov or at local Fish and Game offices.