Juneau — The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announces that the season for the commercial Dungeness crab fishery in Registration Area A (Southeast) will close in most areas by regulation at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, November 30, 2013, consistent with 5 AAC 32.110. Districts 1 and 2, and Section 13-B outside of the Sitka Sound Special Use Area [5 AAC 32.150(10)] will remain open until February 28, 2014.
For those areas that close at 11:59 p.m. on November 30, all Dungeness pots must be removed from the water except that pots may be stored on the grounds with all pot doors secured fully open and all bait and bait containers removed for no more than 72 hours [5 AAC 32.052(b)(2)(A)]. Reporting of lost pots, or pots left in a closed area in fishing condition should be directed to the Alaska Wildlife Troopers (AWT) offices in Juneau, Ketchikan, or Petersburg (contact numbers are listed below).
As per 5 AAC 32.031(d), all crab must be landed within 24 hours of a closure. Vessel operators unable to meet this deadline must contact regional shellfish staff within the 24 hours following the closure for authorization to possess the Dungeness crab for a longer period of time. Additionally, gear storage extensions due to extreme weather or vessel breakdown may be obtained by contacting regional shellfish staff [5 AAC 32.052(c)] before 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, December 3, 2013.
Contact numbers for requesting extended holding and gear storage extensions are as follows:
Joe Stratman: (907) 518-0755, (907) 772-5238 Andrew Olson: (425) 210-7364, (907) 465-425.