Fall means crabbing and dive fisheries along with ongoing catches of cod, pollock, flounders, rockfish and other groundfish across Alaska.

The Bering Sea crab fisheries got underway yesterday for red king crab and snow crab. A handful of boats also has been pulling up golden king crab along the Aleutians since August.

In Southeast, some regions already are closed for big spot shrimp which opened October 1. Shrimpers can haul up nearly half a million pounds of spots in their pots this fall.

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The Panhandle’s fall Dungeness crab fishery also got underway on October 1 and it’s expected to be a good one.

Over 150 Southeast divers are targeting 2 million pounds of sea cucumbers and nearly 640,000 pounds of giant geoduck clams.

Divers also can haul up over 3 million pounds of red sea urchins, a fishery that sees little effort. Last year, for example, only about 8 percent of a similar harvest was taken by 13 divers who averaged $.69 per pound.

Southeast trollers started fishing for winter kings on October 11. And a herring food and bait fishery is underway near Craig with an 11,000 ton harvest.

Kodiak’s sea cucumber fishery is underway with a take of just 165,000 pounds.

Kodiak crabbers also are hauling up Dungeness crab with a catch that should top 1.3 million pounds.

For halibut, 86 percent of the nearly 18 million pound catch limit with just over two million pounds remaining. Homer, Seward, Kodiak and Sitka are top ports for landings.

For sablefish, 70 percent of the nearly 26 million pound quota has been taken with most of the fish crossing the docks at Sitka, followed by Seward and Kodiak.

A detached kelp harvest is open at Lower Cook Inlet.

Finally, the state Board of Fisheries kicks off its meeting cycle October 23 and 24 in Anchorage. The board will focus this cycle on subsistence, commercial, sport and personal use fisheries at Kodiak and Cook Inlet.

 

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