The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is implementing a pilot program for a permitted managed shark fishing season at the Gulf State Park Saltwater Fishing Pier. The first two events will take place on the south end of the pier – called the octagon – from 8 p.m. to midnight on Tuesday, June 19 and Tuesday, June 26, 2018.
The octagon will close to routine use 30 minutes prior to these events, and reopen to routine use 30 minutes following them. During the events, the octagon area of the pier will be designated for the exclusive use of the participating anglers and their designated assistants.
The managed shark fishing events will be limited to 10 anglers per occasion, with each having one rod and reel in use. Each angler may have two assistants, so a maximum of 30 individuals are allowed on the octagon area during these events.
No other anglers or pier guests will be allowed within the octagon area during this time. The remainder of the pier will be open to anglers and other pier guests as normally provided.
Angler gear shall remain the same as presently provided under existing pier rules, and anglers are required to provide their own gear, including release poles to facilitate the release of undersized catch.
After monitoring these two events in June, the agency will evaluate the program and make decisions about additional events for the following months.
Alabama State Parks Director Greg Lein said the limited shark fishing days are in response to requests from pier anglers. “We surveyed pier anglers about their satisfaction with fishing from the pier, and many of them expressed concern that they are not able to catch other species because of the abundance of sharks near the pier. Anglers often catch sharks inadvertently and are required to cut the line when that happens. We’re offering these initial shark fishing opportunities on a trial basis,” Lein said.
Anglers interested in shark fishing on the designated dates can apply in person at the pier, by phone to the park pier management during regular business hours, or online. Applicants should be prepared to provide contact information for notification of selection to a pending managed shark fishing event. Applicants will be selected in the order in which they apply.
Additional information will be posted online. To stay current on the most up-to-date information for these events and other pier events, visit www.alapark.com/parks/gulf-state-park/fishing-and-education-pier.
To register for participation as an angler for these Managed Shark Fishing events, visit www.alapark.com/shark-fishing or call the pier manager at (251) 967-FISH.
Alabama State Parks is a division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The division relies on visitor fees and the support of other partners like local communities to fund the majority of their operations. To learn more, visit www.alapark.com.