Fish Radio

Fishing updates, 10 year crab ratz review

June 2, 2013

Sockeye salmon Credit:

Sockeye salmon

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch  — More salmon fisheries come on line – lots more  fishing and a 10 year crab ratz review after this —

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More salmon fisheries are getting underway across Alaska, with openers this week at Kodiak, Lower Cook Inlet, Prince William Sound, parts of Bristol Bay and Southeast.  Above average temperatures and an early ice out have already produced catches of Chinook salmon and chums on the Yukon.

Alaska salmon totals so far are pushing 400-thousand fish.  You can track all the daily and weekly salmon catches at Fish and Game’s Blue sheet.

Crabbers in Southeast are gearing up for the Dungeness crab fishery that opens on June 15. Several million pounds should be hauled in by crabbers over the summer.

A commercial smelt fishery – also called eulachon or hooligan –  is ongoing at Upper Cook Inlet through June or until dip netters take 100 tons.

Alaska halibut catches have topped 7 million pounds – that’s 41 percent of the catch limit, with a little over 10 million pounds left to go. Kodiak is the leading port for halibut landings, with Seward and Homer close behind.  Halibut prices are still reported at well over $6 a pound at  major ports.

The nation’s biggest fishery, Bering Sea pollock reopens for the summer season on June 10. Nearly 3 billion pounds of pollock will come out of that fishery this year.  Fishing also continues for cod, flounders and other groundfish throughout the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska.

One of the year’s biggest fish meetings gets underway when the North Pacific Council convenes next week in Kodiak. Topping the agenda – a 10 year review of how the Bering Sea crab rationalization program has played out across Alaska. That controversial quota share program winnowed the big crab fleet from 256 boats in 2005 to just 91 in a single year.

The Council also will continue to shape the new plan aimed at reducing bycatch in Gulf trawl fisheries. Up to 25 different kinds of fish will be factored into the plan which will include some form of catch shares.

Find links to the Council, the crab report, Alaska fish catches and more at our website

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods.  Ocean Beauty has contributed over 10 million meals to the U.S. Food Bank network, and is committed to ending hunger in America.   In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.