Salmon fisheries are popping open across the state but catches are barely registering so far. The statewide catch is barely topping 100,000 fish, mostly from Copper River.
The latest of four openers there by Monday had produced a total take of about 60,000 fish, mostly sockeyes, and demand for the sparse catches was said to be high. No prices yet for Monday’s catch; prices after the third opener were reported at $9/lb for kings and $4.75 for sockeyes.
Troll caught Chinook salmon from Southeast was making up the rest of Alaska’s early catches.
Kodiak’s Dungeness crab fishery is ongoing with more openers around the island this month.
Southeast Alaska’s summer Dungie fishery opens on June 15. Fishery managers will use catch stats from the first week of fishing to predict the total catch for the season. It could be several million pounds.
A ling cod fishery is ongoing in parts of Southeast and divers are still bringing up geoduck clams.
And while herring was a bust for the region, a spawn on kelp pound fishery at Craig and Klawok yielded nearly 600,000 pounds of product for 147 fishermen tending 75 pounds, the highest numbers ever. They won’t know the value of the unique delicacy until the fall.
A 5,000 ton herring food and bait fishery is underway through June near Shaktoolik at Norton Sound.
Just under 4 million pounds of halibut has crossed the Alaska docks since early March, mostly at Homer followed by Kodiak. The catch limit this year is about 17 million pounds.
Nine million pounds of a 26 million pound sablefish catch has gone mostly to Sitka, followed by Kodiak and Cordova.
Out in the Bering Sea, the nation’s largest food fishery – Alaska pollock – reopens for the B season on June 10th. That fishery will produce over three billion pounds of pollock this year.
Fishing for cod also reopens in the Bering Sea on the 10th.