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Thread: Sitka fishing questions..??

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    Default Sitka fishing questions..??

    I found this forum through a Google search and really like the threads,this is my first post..

    I am heading to Sitka to fish the last 2 days of May and the first 2 days of June..I have searched the regulations and still haven't found a definitive answer on the Halibut limits,does anyone know if it's 1 or 2 a day?? From what I can see it looks like King Salmon are 3 per person at 28 inches for an annual limit,please correct if I am wrong..Also in May and June what is the normal depth the Halibut fishing occurs at or is that really variable.?? Any info is greatly appreciated and thanks in advance.I am sure I will have other questions in the future..

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    I'm not sure everything is entirely set yet, or at least not published, the regs should become available in a week or so though
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    I'm not sure everything is entirely set yet, or at least not published, the regs should become available in a week or so though
    Thanks a ton...I will keep an eye on this forum for any announcement.

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    I was talking to a lodge owner yesterday and he said that a 1 halibut limit has to be signed off on by the Sec of Commerce. And Obama does not have one yet.

    Edited to add... Looks like they got Gary Locke confirmed on the 24th as the Sec of Commerce. It'll be interesting!

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    Member CanCanCase's Avatar
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    Advice to the OP... Keep in mind that halibut are federally managed and kings are managed by the State, so you've got 2 different sets of regulations to track down and abide by.

    Also, the PENDING federal 1-fish regulation is currently only applicable to anglers who aren't lucky enough to own their own boats and who have to hire a guide.

    Happy Alaska Travels!
    -Case
    M/V CanCan - 34' SeaWolf - Bandon, OR
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    Lets say for the sake of argument that the daily limit is two halibut with possession limit of 4 per person. I am staying at forest service cabin close to town and doing self guided fishing every day. I bring my catch every couple of days to local fish processor in town that cuts up the fish in meal size portions, vacuum packs, and freezes it for the trip home. How am I supposed to prove at that point that I am only in possession of 4 total halibut? I could have caught a couple of really big ones? At what point do I have to stop keeping the carcasses and can I cut up the fish?

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by louisiana View Post
    Lets say for the sake of argument that the daily limit is two halibut with possession limit of 4 per person. I am staying at forest service cabin close to town and doing self guided fishing every day. I bring my catch every couple of days to local fish processor in town that cuts up the fish in meal size portions, vacuum packs, and freezes it for the trip home. How am I supposed to prove at that point that I am only in possession of 4 total halibut? I could have caught a couple of really big ones? At what point do I have to stop keeping the carcasses and can I cut up the fish?

    Thanks.
    According to current (last season... subject to change this year with new regs/EO's!) policy, the STATE of ALASKA considers fish out of your posession when they're prepared for human consumption (cooked) or frozen (solid, not just cold.)

    NPFMC and Federal Law (you know, the ones that govern halibut) DO NOT allow for the "frozen therefore out of posession" guideline we all use with salmon. NPFMC says halibut may be filleted at sea as long as they're not cut into more than 2 light-skinned fillets, 2 dark-skinned fillets and 2 cheeks. Fish fillets must retain SKIN ON and you need to retain the carcass (for measuring purposes) until the fish are landed.

    This came into play last season when a pair of self guided anglers had almost 400 lbs. of halibut confiscated because it was aboard their (rented) boat, but the fillets were already fletched out and vac-packed. Here's the kicker... they had skin on and carcases retained up until the fish hit the cleaning table here in Auke Bay. Problem is, the cleaning table is WAY out on the end of the breakwater, so they cleaned their fish, then loaded the cooler for shipping home and boated a few hundred yards to the loading zone by the parking lot. I asked the (plain clothed) Federal Marshall how I should handle client fish when faced with the same situation, and was instructed to "walk it up to the ramp"...

    Bottom line... until it's in the fish box ON LAND, don't skin or chop up your fillets and yes, you have to keep the carcass... As far as I know they're only enforceing on the water, so once the fish is dropped at the processor, I THINK you're good to go from there. As far as getting it home, the regs don't specifically state whether or not they apply to air transportation. I also have yet to see a Federally approved "transfer of posession" form like the State has. I doubt the Marshalls in inland parts of the country are checking how many halibut carcasses you have in posession, however!

    -Case
    M/V CanCan - 34' SeaWolf - Bandon, OR
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    I'm not sure everything is entirely set yet, or at least not published, the regs should become available in a week or so though
    I just found this on the internet today:

    e-CFR Data is current as of March 26, 2009

    http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text...11.1.5&idno=50

    From section 300.65:
    (d) In Commission Regulatory Area 2C, halibut harvest on a charter vessel is limited to no more than two halibut per person per calendar day provided that at least one of the harvested halibut has a head-on length of no more than 32 inches (81.3 cm). If a person sport fishing on a charter vessel in Area 2C retains only one halibut in a calendar day, that halibut may be of any length.

    So will this be the law this year..??Again any info is appreciated..Thanks in advance

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    Member CanCanCase's Avatar
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    That's the default regulation left over from 2008. The 1fish rule will go into effect when authorized by the Sec of Commerce (or when the commercial fishery councils find a legal way to shove it through without cabinet approval.)

    We didn't have a final regulation to work with until June last summer.

    Happy Alaska Travels!
    -Case
    M/V CanCan - 34' SeaWolf - Bandon, OR
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Thanks Case...I thought I was on to something there..

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