With summer fishing on the minds of most, the Alaska State Troopers are hoping to keep things running smooth for fisherman targeting crab or shrimp this season with a public crab pot gear check from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 4 at the trooper offices on Sherwood Lane.
State Trooper Aaron Frenzel said it never hurts to double-check gear before fishing, especially if it means avoiding an unnecessary ticket.
“Most times people just don’t realize what they need or other times people get a little lazy,” Frenzel said.
All crab and shrimp pots, Frenzel said, must have functioning biodegradable escape mechanisms which are configured appropriately for the size of the target species. They must also have properly sized escape rings and the proper identifying markings. According to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, all shellfish pots must be “plainly and legibly labelled with the angler’s first initial, last name, home address, and the name or the Division of Motor Vehicles registration number (AK number) of the vessel used to operate the pot ...” Since each pot must be attached to a buoy or keg, this information most often noted on the flotation device. Some fisherman have been known to put markings on the pot, as well, though there is no regulation requiring this.
Frenzel said troopers always appreciate a phone number on the buoy.
“Typically, I recommend putting a phone number because (the buoy) can drift, or get tangled in someone else’s gear ... it makes it nice for us when we’re trying to return found pots, but it’s not a requirement,” he said.
Troopers will also be available to go over general fishery questions, as well, Frenzel said.
According to the ADF&G, the Southeast Alaska personal use crab fishery — including dungeness, tanner and king crab — is “managed by emergency order; the fishery may not open or may close at any time, or the bag limits may be reduced at any time.” The department recommends always checking with local ADF&G offices before going crabbing.
When it comes to fishing for shrimp in Southeast, the season is open year round for personal use and no permits are needed if fishing with pots, according to the ADF&G. Additionally, there are no bag and possession limits.
Before fishing, it’s important to check current regulations regardless of the timing. And remember that all shellfish may be exposed to the algae that causes Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning.
For more information about the gear check, call 465-4047.