Bycatch Limits Announced for Salmon Troll Fishery (Revised)

The following story has been edited to better reflect the
regulations and include information that was omitted from a previous version of
the story.

By Margaret Bauman

Groundfish bycatch limits for the commercial salmon troll
fishery in state waters of the Eastern Gulf of Alaska were announced Jan. 3 by
the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Commercial salmon trollers operating hand or power troll gear during an open
commercial salmon fishing period in the area may legally retain, posses and
sell incidentally taken groundfish in unlimited amounts, except where it is
necessary to manage groundfish bycatch harvest within total catch limits, state
biologists said.

The bycatch allowances for each species or species group reflects the
percentage that may be retained and sold and is based on the round weight of
salmon on board.

For lingcod, the bycatch allowance is 70 percent in the Icy Bay Subdistrict,
Central Southeast Outside Section, Northern Southeast Inside Subdistrict and
Southern Southeast Internal Waters Sector.

Other bycatch allotments for lingcod are 40 percent in the East Yakutat
Section, 30 percent for Southern Southeast Outer Coast Sector, and 5 percent
for the Northern Southeast Outside Section.
The retention of lingcod bycatch in the commercial salmon troll fisher is open
May 16 through Nov. 30, or until area specific lingcod bycatch allocations are

For the Demersal Shelf Rockfish, the bycatch allowance is 10 percent, and for
spiny dogfish, 35 percent. For sablefish, the bycatch allowance is 0%.

There is no limit on incidental harvest of other rockfish and other groundfish
taken in state waters.

Lingcod and black, blue and dark rockfish are state managed species and the
bycatch allowances for these species in federal water, the exclusive economic
zone, are the same as those set for state waters.
Vessels trolling for salmon in the EEZ in the Gulf of Alaska that retain
groundfish bycatch must have a federal fisheries permit endorsed for troll

An federal fisheries permit is not required for vessels retaining groundfish
bycatch in state waters or for lingcod or black, blue or dark rockfish taken in
the EEZ, as these species are exempt from federal permit requirements, state
biologists said.