Division of Sport Fish
Tom Taube, Acting Director

Anchorage Headquarters Office
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, AK 99518

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Doug Vincent-Lang, Commissioner

P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526

Advisory Announcement
(Released: March 07, 2023 - Expired: September 15, 2023)

CONTACT: Brittany Blain-Roth
Area Management Biologist
(907) 267-2186

Pots Reduced in the Prince William Sound Noncommercial Shrimp Fishery

(Anchorage) - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is reducing the number of pots allowed to be used per person and per vessel in the 2023 Prince William Sound (PWS) noncommercial (sport and subsistence) shrimp pot fishery. This regulatory restriction is effective from 12:01 a.m. Saturday, April 15 through 11:59 p.m. Friday, September 15, 2023.

The pot limit per person and per vessel has been reduced to three pots; however, of those three pots only two pots can be set in areas of historically high effort including areas near the Port of Valdez, near the Port of Whittier, and in portions of Port Wells and Culross Passage (see map below). These areas make up the majority of the harvest in PWS and in these areas’ pots will be limited to only two pots per person and per vessel. Shrimpers that want to use three pots will have to travel further from the two roadside ports in PWS (Valdez and Whittier; see map below). A map will also be provided with each permit for shrimpers to reference. Additionally, spare pots may be carried onboard a vessel participating in the noncommercial fishery. The noncommercial shrimp pot fishery is allocated 60% of the total allowable harvest limit while the commercial shrimp pot fishery receives 40%. In 2022, with a noncommercial guideline harvest level (GHL) of 100,300 pounds, the pot limit was reduced to two pots near the Port of Valdez and Whittier and three pots for the outer areas for the entire season and the estimated harvest was 84,949 pounds of shrimp. The noncommercial fishery harvest was 15,351 pounds below the GHL. In 2023, the noncommercial GHL is 94,700 pounds of shrimp.

"Pot limits for the 2023 season will remain the same as they were in the 2022 season. In both 2021 and 2022, noncommercial shrimpers that stayed close to the ports of Whittier and Valdez area were only able to shrimp with two pots and this will continue for the 2023 shrimp season. In 2022, the pot limit was increased from 2 to 3 outside of the ports to allow additional opportunity and this will be the same for 2023. This harvest management strategy is driven by shrimp harvest report data and will provide additional opportunity in areas where there is currently less harvest." stated the Sport Fish Area Manager Brittany Blain-Roth.

The PWS noncommercial shrimp permits will be available online after March 15th. All fishery participants are required to have a permit with them while shrimping. In addition, all permit harvest reports are due by Sunday, October 15, 2023, regardless of whether you went shrimping or not. Participants may report their harvest online at any time, whether you have completed shrimping for the season or not. The total season’s harvest, by individual set, must be reported by the due date. Please look closely at the permit for additional details about pot limits and areas where only two pots are allowed.

In March 2022, the Alaska Board of Fisheries adopted the Failure to Report process for the Prince William Sound noncommercial shrimp fishery recognizing the importance of harvest reporting for this fishery which is being implemented for the first time in the 2023 season. If shrimpers fail to report their harvest by the October 15 reporting deadline they could be denied a permit in the following season.

The commercial shrimp fishery rotates every year between three defined locations in PWS. This season the commercial fishery will be harvesting in Area 2 which is in the western/central area of PWS and includes popular locations such as Port Wells, Northern Knight Island and Port Nellie Juan. For additional information about the commercial shrimp fishery for the PWS area, please see the commercial fisheries advisory announcements page.

For additional information about the PWS sport shrimp pot fishery, please contact Area Management Biologist Brittany Blain-Roth in Anchorage at (907) 267-2186. For additional information about the PWS subsistence and commercial shrimp pot fisheries, please contact Area Management Biologist Jan Rumble in Homer at (907) 235-8191.

PWS Shrimp Restrictions