July 31, 2014
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch … Lots of fishing going on from one end of Alaska to the other. Highlights after this —
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With a few exceptions, most of Alaska’s salmon fisheries are rather lackluster. statewide the salmon catch has topped 87 million and more than 47 million of those fish are sockeye salmon. Nearly 29 million of the reds are from Bristol Bay, 17 million over the preseason forecast. Most boats have called it a season, but many are sticking around for pinks and cohos.
Chignik finally got its first sockeye opener for a week starting July 21.
The Lower Yukon is enjoying its highest chum catch since 1989 at nearly half a million fish.
The statewide pink catch was nearing 39 million; 27 million humpies were from Prince William Sound. There’s still a glut of holdover pinks from last year’s record run and that’s pushed down prices to about 25 cents a pound with a few cents more for chilled and delivered pinks.
In other fisheries, jig boats continue fishing for cod and black rockfish around Kodiak and at Cook Inlet. Jiggers are fishing for ling cod at Prince William Sound where trawlers also are still targeting sidestripe shrimp.
For halibut 61% of the catch has been taken with about six million pounds remaining out of the 16 million pound catch limit. For sablefish, 68% of the nearly 24 million pound quota was taken. Homer has boosted its lead on Kodiak for halibut poundage, with Seward third. For sablefish, Seward leads all ports followed by Kodiak.
Pollock fishing continues in the Bering Sea along with cod and numerous flounder fisheries. Red king crab is still open at Norton Sound and the Aleutians golden king crab season opens in mid-August. Pollock will reopen in the Gulf on August 25.
Perhaps the biggest fish story this week is the Dungeness crab fishery in Southeast, which is seeing its best season ever. The total catch this year is pegged at nearly 6.5 million pounds for 150 crabbers who are getting about $3/pound, up 50 cents from last year. The summer dungie fishery closes August 15 and reopens October 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.