Today the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced the nonpelagic rockfish bag, possession, and retention rules for the Southeast Alaska sport fishery during 2018. The following regulations are effective 12:01 a.m. April 19, 2018 through March 31, 2019:
All Southeast Waters
Alaska Residents – No size limit, bag and possession limit of 1 nonpelagic rockfish;
Nonresidents – No size limit, bag and possession limit of 1 nonpelagic rockfish; annual limit of 1 yelloweye rockfish, which must be recorded, in ink, on the back of the angler’s sport fishing license or on a harvest record card at the time of harvest.
Persons sport fishing from a charter vessel when releasing nonpelagic rockfish, (i.e. after an angler reaches their bag limit), must use a deep water release mechanism to return the fish to the depth it was hooked or to a depth of at least 100 feet. All charter vessels must have at least one functional deep water release mechanism on board and readily available for use when sport fishing activities are taking place.
Charter operators and crew members may not retain nonpelagic rockfish while clients are on board the vessel.
Southeast Outside Waters (see attached map)
Retention of nonpelagic rockfish is prohibited in all Southeast Outside Waters from August 1 through August 31.All vessels in Southeast Outside waters during this time must have a functional deep water release device on board while fishing (regardless of target species) and all nonpelagic rockfish must be released at depth of capture or at least 100 feet.
The Alaska Board of Fisheries allocated 16% of the allowable catch of demersal shelf rockfish to the sport fishery and established management provisions (5 AAC 47.065) to manage the sport fishery within the allocation. These measures implemented during 2018 will provide fishing opportunity yet limit total mortality of nonpelagic rockfish within the sport allocation, thereby ensuring the sustainability of nonpelagic rockfish in the Southeast Alaska Area. Anglers are reminded that beginning in 2020, all anglers fishing from a vessel that are releasing rockfish will be required to have in possession, and use a deep water release device when releasing nonpelagic rockfish.
For further information, contact the nearest ADF&G office or visit: