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The Alaska Board of Fishers has adopted new sport, personal use, and subsistence fishing regulations for shellfish in Cook Inlet, North Gulf Coast, and Prince William Sound salt waters.

In Cook Inlet and North Gulf Coast waters including Kachemak Bay, the sport and personal use fisheries for hardshell clams (butter and littleneck clams) are now closed. In the Cook Inlet area, the bag and possession limits of hardshell clams in the subsistence fishery were reduced from 80 to 40 clams in combination.

A new statewide sport fishing regulation for fishing squid allows up to two squid jigs attached to a single line to be used in addition to taking squid with traditional sport gear. A squid jig is defined as an artificial lure that consists of barbless hook clusters. The jig configuration may not exceed 24 inches in total length.

A reporting requirement for sport and subsistence shrimp permits on Prince William Sounds has been adopted. Individuals that fail to report their harvest by October 15 will be denied a permit the following season unless they return harvest information and demonstrate that the failure to report was due to unavoidable circumstances.

A bag and possession limit of 10 gallons of North Gulf Coast razor clams in the sport and personal use fisheries of West Cook Inlet. Clammers are also now required to keep all clams dug to prevent wastage.

The Board also adopted a management plan for the sport and personal use fisheries for East Cook Inlet razor clams that divided east Cook Inlet into two management areas with the northern area assessed with Clam Gulch abundance data and the southern area being assessed with Ninilchik data. The data will be used to Identify adult abundance thresholds necessary to open the new limited fishery and historical fishery in each management area.

A limited fishery with a bag limit of 30 and a season of May through October with a total harvest identified as 10 percent of the adult abundance dependent on survey results was established.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will be conducting razor clam abundance surveys at Clam Gulch and Ninilchik from mid-April through mid-May and will announce later in May if adult abundances are sufficient to open the new limited fishery.

For additional information, please contact Homer Area Management Biologist Mike Booz (907) 235-8191 or Prince William Sound Area Management Biologist Jay Baumer at (907) 267-2265.