Fish Radio

Fishing update, January 2016

January 7, 2016

Fishing areas of Alaska  Credit: ASMI

Fishing areas of Alaska
Credit: ASMI

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch … Lots of fishing is going on despite blustery weather. I’ll tell you more after this –

Want great seafood recipes, from fast and easy to gourmet feasts? Find hundreds of heart healthy recipes from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute at .

The Alaska Symphony of Seafood is going Beyond the Plate and Beyond the Egg for the 2016 competition. Deadline to enter new products in four categories is January 8


Fishing at the start of the New Year was stymied a bit by high winds across Alaska, but hundreds of boats were still out on the water. Cod starts the year off throughout the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea for fixed gears, meaning longlines, jigs and pots. The price is reportedly around 35 cents a pound, similar to last year.

A lingcod fishery also is underway throughout the Panhandle, as is black rockfish there and at Kodiak, Chignik and the Alaska Peninsula. That tasty rockfish fetches closer to 45 cents for fishermen.

Southeast trollers have taken about 30,000 winter kings so far at $7.23 a pound, according to fish tickets.

Dive fisheries were ongoing for sea cucumbers, urchins and geoduck clams.

More Bering Sea crabbers are ramping up for the 35.5 million pound  snow crab fishery. Crabbers also are targeting 15 million pounds of Tanners and six million pounds of golden king crab along the Aleutians.

Alaska’s pollock fishery opens on January 20 – nearly 3 billion pounds from the Bering Sea and another 5.6 million pounds from the Gulf, a 30 percent increase. Pollock usually tops out at about 15 cents a pound for fishermen.

From the largest fishery to one of the smalls – the Arctic lamprey eel fishery provided a nice holiday pay day for Yukon fishermen. A 37,000 pound catch brought $1.50 a pound from buyers in three locations.

State biologists don’t have a good feel for the lamprey stocks as they migrate under the ice in winter and evade sonar. And with budget cuts looming, Yukon lamprey manager Sabrina Garcia says more reliance will fall to local fishermen.

 It’s really hard to manage a fishery when you don’t have an estimate of population abundance. Unfortunately, with our impending state budget cuts it’s’ going to be even harder to fund projects to get these estimates. So talking to fishermen on the river and getting their knowledge – they live on the river, they know these runs – try to get them to give us information on run timing and relative abundance, it really helps us manage the fishery.

Pacific lamprey eels are 15-25 inches long and weigh about a pound. They have a wide customer base, from gourmet markets to bait.

Find catches of all Alaska’s fisheries at our website –  Thanks to the assist from KMXT/Kodiak —

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. ( In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.