AK Weathervane Scallops    Credit: csmphotos.com

Alaska’s salmon catch is nearing 8 million fish, of which over half are sockeyes, mostly from Bristol Bay where catches are building.

Fishermen in Quinhagak have formed a group of 70 harvesters to revitalize commercial salmon fishing in Kuskokwim Bay. The group is called the Independent Fishermen of Quinhagak Cooperative and also includes members from Goodnews Bay, Platinum, and Eek. It’s the first fishery since 2016 when the region’s CDQ group -the Coastal Villages Region Fund – pulled the plug on buying local fish.

And there’s good news for trollers in Southeast where the fleet can catch over 85-thousand Chinook salmon this summer, a 51 percent increase from last year. That fishery is likely to last about one week.

Divers in Southeast continue to pull up giant geoduck clams.

Southeast crabbers get a full two-month summer fishery for Dungeness crab based on a strong start to the season. Only 117 crabbers are on the grounds, down from 170 last summer.  KFSK reports the price also is down to around $1.72 a pound compared to $2.97 last season.

Kodiak crabbers also are dropping pots for Dungies.

A red king crab fishery is open at Norton Sound but because of concerns for the stock, most fishermen are opting to fish for cod.

A golden king crab fishery opens on August 1 in the Bering Sea with a 6.6 million pound quota.

A Ling cod fishery opened in Prince William Sound on July 1 with a 32,600 pound quota.

And a herring food and bait herring fishery opened June 29 at Dutch Harbor with a 2,917 ton harvest.

Scallop fishing opened in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea on July 1 with a reduced quota of 277,500 pounds of shucked meats. Almost half of that goes to the Yakutat region.

Halibut landings are nearing six million pounds, or 36 percent of the catch limit. Homer leads all ports for landings, followed by Sitka and Kodiak.

For sablefish, 10.5 million pounds of the nearly 32 million pound quota have been taken. Sitka has seen the most deliveries, followed by Dutch Harbor and Kodiak

And fishing for pollock, cod, flounders and other whitefish is ongoing throughout the Gulf and Bering Sea.

Finally, the deadline for fishing crew members to apply for the federal Paycheck Protection Program through the Small Business Administration  has been extended to August 8.

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