August 9, 2013
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Salmon catches are surging and lots more fishing action. Plus – even fewer sockeyes. More after this —
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Alaska salmon catches are nearing 152 million fish thanks to a plug of pinks. Those catches were at about 107 million yesterday — more than half of the pinks – 54 million – were from Prince William Sound; the humpy harvest was pushing 40 million at Southeast – even the Alaska Peninsula was seeing good catches at 5 million pinks so far.
In other salmon news: it looks like there will be even fewer sockeyes to meet market demand. By now British Columbia’s Fraser River sockeyes are usually filling orders as the Alaska catch tails off – but dismal returns mean there likely won’t even be a fishery. The lack of reds will push up prices even higher.
Alaska longliners have taken 61% of the nearly 22 million pound halibut catch limit. For sablefish, the catch tally was at 68% of the 28 million pound quota. Those fisheries both end in mid-November.
Southeast Alaska’s Dungeness crab fishery ended August 8, a week earlier than usual. That catch should top 2 million pounds and the dungy fishery will reopen October 1.
The year’s first king crab fishery is underway at Norton Sound where 35 small boat crabbers have a half million pound quota. The golden king crab fishery way out along the Aleutian Islands starts August 15 – that harvest will top 6 million pounds.
Pollock boats are back out on the water in the Bering Sea where nearly 3 billion pounds will be taken this year. Trawlers also are targeting cod and pot cod opens September 1.
In the Gulf, pollock reopens on August 25, mostly around Kodiak. Cod opens for all gears in the Gulf except jig on September 1.
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. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.