The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
HOONAH SOUND SUBSISTENCE AND SPORT SHRIMP FISHERIES REMAIN CLOSED
(Sitka) – Subsistence and sport shrimp fisheries in the Hoonah Sound portion of Section 13-C will remain closed north and west of a line from 57°35.07? N. lat., 135°33.57? W. long. to 57°37.89? N. lat., 135°28.65? W. long., from 12:01 a.m. Monday, January 1 through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, December 31, 2024 (Figure 1).
The Section 13-C spot shrimp survey has been conducted annually by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game from 1999 through 2014 and from 2017 through 2023. From 1999–2014 the spot shrimp population in Hoonah Sound was considered healthy and relatively stable based on survey data and commercial fishing harvests. Beginning in 2015, commercial spot shrimp harvest data indicated declining stock health. Spot shrimp surveys conducted in Hoonah Sound from 2017–2022 showed a decline in the numbers and catch rates of younger, small spot shrimp. While the 2023 survey showed a slight increase in catch rates of small spot shrimp, the values remain far below average and were the third lowest in the history of the survey. The catch rates of larger spot shrimp have remained above average since 2020.
The subsistence and sport shrimp fisheries have been closed in Hoonah Sound since March 2020. Additionally, the commercial pot shrimp fishery in Section 13-C will continue to be closed through the 2024/25 season. The continued closures of these shrimp fisheries are warranted to protect the younger age classes and the older female spot shrimp to aid in the recovery of the stock.