Fish Radio

March means halibut, herring and more

March 1, 2016

Eulachon, also called smelt and 'hooligans' Credit:

Eulachon, also called smelt and ‘hooligans’


This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – March means halibut, herring and more. That’s up after this ….

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March means hundreds of Alaska fishermen will start gearing up for halibut, which opens a bit later this year on the 19th.  For the first time in decades the total coast wide catch increased by 2.3 percent to just under 30 million pounds. Alaska gets the lion’s share at about 21 and a half million pounds, a boost of  200,000 pounds from last year.

The year’s first roe herring fishery at Sitka Sound could kick off around the same time. A quota of nearly 16,000 tons (15,674) almost doubles last year’s take (8,756). Last year the Sitka fishery opened on March 18.

Fishing for cod, pollock, flounders and other groundfish continues in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska.

Likewise for crab –  Bering Sea snow crabbers have taken 66 percent of the  36.5 million pound quota with about 12.5 million pounds left to go. About 3 million pounds remain in the Tanner crab quota of nearly 18 million pounds (17.7m).

And the year’s first red king crab fishery at Norton Sound has yielded about 12,000 pounds since mid-February. Fishermen there drop and haul pots through the ice with about 30,000 pounds left to go in the winter catch.

Lots of recent fishery closures:  last Friday, Kodiak waters closed to cod pot gear, as did the eulachon, or ‘hooligan’ smelt fishery in Southeast Alaska.

Shrimp fishing closed for beam trawl and pot gear in the Panhandle on Sunday.

Yesterday saw a quick wrap up of the region’s Tanner crab fishery, which should top one million pounds. That fishery lasted 7 days in one region and 12 days in another.

A test fishery this month will assess stocks of Tanner crab in Prince William Sound. The last Tanner fishery there was in 1988.

Finally, the Board of Fisheries wraps up its meeting cycle BOF Statewide Finfish and Supplemental Issues.  at the Anchorage Hilton. The focus will be on 22 statewide finfish and supplemental issues.

Find links to the Fish Board meeting, fish catches and more at our website –

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.