(Homer) – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) announced today the Cook Inlet and North Gulf Coast sport and subsistence Tanner crab fisheries season, gear, and limits for 2019-2020. In Kachemak Bay, east of a line from Point Pogibshi and Anchor Point (see Areas D & E in maps below), the sport and subsistence fisheries will provide more harvest opportunity than the remaining areas. The 2017 through 2019, legal male abundance estimates from the Kachemak Bay trawl survey exceeded the restrictive fishery threshold levels and allows for less restrictive fisheries. To ensure that the Tanner crab harvest in Kachemak Bay remains less than 10% of the 3-year average legal male abundance, the season will be from October 1 through December 31, 2019, and January 15 through March 15, 2020. Participants harvesting crab are allowed two pots per person and a maximum of two pots per vessel. The bag and possession limit is five legal sized male Tanner crabs per person in Kachemak Bay.
In all other Cook Inlet and North Gulf Coast areas (see Areas A, B, & C in maps below), the sport and subsistence fisheries seasons, pot and bag/possession limits will remain the same as the last two seasons. This includes an open season from October 1, 2019, through February 28, 2020, with participants allowed one pot per person and a maximum of one pot per vessel. The bag and possession limit is three legal sized male Tanner crabs per person.
A valid permit is required to participate in either fishery. Permits are ONLY available online through the ADF&G online store located under the “Fishing Permits” tab. Permits will be available starting Wednesday, September 4, 2019. While a Tanner crab fishery permit may be obtained online, participants are required to have a printed and signed copy with them while fishing for Tanner crab and harvest must be reported in ink on the permit before catch is concealed. Please refer to the online permit for maps and regulations of the sport and subsistence Tanner crab fishery areas.
To receive a Tanner crab sport permit, a sport fishing license is required. Alaskan residents may receive a Tanner crab subsistence permit without a sport fishing license; however, we encourage individuals to obtain only one permit type. There is no added benefit to having both permits.
Each permit holder is responsible for reporting online by March 31, 2020, even if the permit holder did not fish. Individuals who fail to report online by March 31, 2020, WILL NOT be eligible for a permit the following year.
As a reminder, in May 2019, ADF&G issued letters to inform individuals that they will be denied a permit for the 2019-2020 season due to not reporting their 2018-2019 harvest. Approximately 16% of individuals issued a permit last season will be denied permits this season. The list of individuals that are denied a permit will be incorporated into the online store to prevent them from obtaining a permit this season. Denying permits to those individuals that failed to report last season is expected to improve compliance and lead to more timely and accurate harvest information.
For additional information, please contact Sport Fish Area Management Biologist Mike Booz or Commercial Fisheries Area Management Biologist Jan Rumble at (907) 235-8191.