The Cook Inlet area state waters Pacific cod season is now closed to vessels greater than 58 feet in length that are fishing with pot gear. The closure went into effect at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 25.
For vessels smaller than 58 feet fishing with pot gear, the season will remain open for Pacific cod until it is closed by emergency order.
The state waters fishery opened to pot gear at noon on Feb. 24. This year’s guideline harvest level is 3,652,504 pounds. Of that total GHL, 85 percent was allocated to pot gear, for a total of about 3.1 million pounds. The remaining 15 percent, or just over a half a million pounds, was allocated to jig gear.
Large pot vessels, meaning those over 58 feet, are restricted to catching 25 percent of the total GHL, or about .9 million pounds. Once they reach their allocation, the fishery closes to all but the smaller vessels.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game noted that if there is any of the total GHL left to be fished after September first, waters may open once again to all legal gear types with no size restrictions.
Fish and Game reminded fishermen that following the closure, all pots must be unabated and doors must be left open. Pots must then be removed from the water no later than five days after the closure and fish must be landed within 24 hours after the closure.