There’s lots of fishing going on across Alaska and more to come in the winter line up.
Cod and a mix of groundfish kicked off the year on January 1 in the Bering Sea and in many parts of the Gulf. Boats also are targeting black rockfish in Southeast, the westward region of Kodiak, Chignik and the Alaska Peninsula and along the Aleutians.
Lingcod also is open in Southeast. Divers there have pretty much wrapped up a 2 million pound sea cucumber fishery but they were still tapping on geoducks.
Alaska pollock opens on January 20 in the Gulf and Bering Sea where the catch will top three billion pounds.
The Gulf pollock catch took a big dip to around 250 million pounds, a drop of over 57 million pounds from 2019. Prince William Sound also has a 5 million pound pollock fishery.
Bering Sea crabbers are still out on the grounds pulling up snow crab. This season’s quota was boosted to nearly 34 million pounds, a 24 percent increase.
Kodiak’s January 15th Tanner crab fishery was pushed back a day due to high winds. Tanner and golden king crab fisheries open in Southeast on February 17 and Tanner crab opens on March 1 at Prince William Sound.
And proving that Alaska salmon fishing goes on nearly year round – well over 100 Southeast trollers are still out on the water fishing for winter kings.
Winter is the busiest time for Alaska fish meetings.
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council meets January 27 through February 2 in Seattle.
Halibut stakeholders are bracing for what their catches for the year will be when they are announced in early February. The International Pacific Halibut Commission meeting is at the Captain Cook in Anchorage this year from Feb. 3 through 7.
The Board of Fish put in an extra day at Kodiak and heads next to a marathon meeting on Upper Cook Inlet fishing issues. More than 170 management proposals are on deck from Feb 7-19 at the Anchorage Egan Center.