Lots of fishing is underway in April all across Alaska.
One sad exception is the roe herring fishery at Sitka Sound where seiners have yet to wet their nets. Typically the fishery has come and gone by mid-March and the harvest called for a nearly 13,000 ton haul.
The herring, which are valued for their eggs, are showing up but they are too small to call an opener. The latest Sitka herring fishery ever occurred on April 15 in 2002. The last time a fishery was called off there was in 1977.
Golden king crab also has been slow going – a handful of crabbers have pulled up less than 50,000 pounds out of a 76,000 pound limit.
Southeast’s winter Tanner crab catch of 1.3 million pounds was the third best in 15 years. The month-long fishery was valued at $4.2 million for a fleet of 69 crabbers.
Divers are still going down for geoduck clams and Southeast’s spring troll fishery for Chinook begins on May 1 in some districts.
There’s lots of action at Prince William Sound – a shrimp pot fishery opens April 15 through the 23rd. Ninety-nine boats will compete for 68,100 pounds of the popular prawns.
A sablefish season also opens on April 15 for 134,000 pounds. And due to weather, the Tanner crab fishery was extended in parts of Prince William Sound to April 18.
A one day a week herring fishery opens at Upper Cook Inlet on April 20 through May 31, and a small smelt fishery opens on May 1.
Kodiak’s herring fishery kicks off on April 15 with a harvest set at just over 1,400 tons.
And spotters are already flying at Togiak looking for early herring arrivals there. That herring fishery usually opens in May.
Halibut and sablefish are still crossing the docks all over Alaska. And fisheries for cod, pollock, flounders and other whitefish and more are ongoing throughout the Gulf and Bering Sea.