Fish Radio

Crab numbers, Chuitna decision is a dud, fishing updates

October 8, 2015                                     kick the can

This is Fish Radio, I’m Laine Welch –  DNR splits the Chuitna water rights decision, good news for crabbers – more fishing updates after this –

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The state kicked the can down the road with its decision to split off a small portion of the Chuitna River to protect water rights for salmon, while allowing developer PacRim Coal more time to submit its mining plans.

DNR Water Resources Chief David Schade said yesterday that the   decision “provides for the continued protection of fish and wildlife habitat within in the Chuitna watershed in Upper Cook Inlet, while allowing for  “rigorous evaluation of the proposed coal project by state and federal regulators.”

Schade noted that the decision marks the first time that a water reservation on state waters has been awarded to a private entity.

Turning to fishing updates:  Bering Sea crabbers breathed a sigh of relief when catch numbers came out contrary to reports of big cuts.

For  Bristol Bay red king crab, the catch quota of nearly 10 million pounds is similar to last year.  Bairdi Tanners continued their upswing to nearly 20 million pounds, up five million pounds from last season.

Snow crab numbers should be out any day.  The Bering Sea crab fisheries open on October 15th.

At Southeast Alaska, the fall Dungeness crab season is underway, as is the famous spot shrimp fishery.

Trollers are geared up for the winter king opener on October 11, and hoping for  another record winter fishery with high prices.

Divers are hauling up   sea cucumbers and urchins in Southeast Alaska and around Kodiak.

Gulf pollock reopened October 1, joining other boats fishing for cod and other groundfish.

Halibut and sablefish longliners  are heading into the final weeks of those fisheries, which end a bit earlier this year on November 7.

A final number – the roe herring fishery next spring at Togiak in Bristol Bay is set to be another big one. The catch is set at nearly 29- thousand tons, similar to this year.

Find links to all Alaska fish catches at

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, celebrating 105 years of partnership with Alaska’s coastal communities.  In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.