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Halibut fishing by longline (Photo: courtesy AlaskaRadio)

Alaska fishing updates: Lots going on out on the water!

Click on the flag for more information about United States UNITED STATES
Monday, September 28, 2020, 02:00 (GMT + 9)

Salmon numbers continue to trickle in but the total catch won’t add up to much more than the 113 million fish taken so far. That’s about 85 percent of what state managers expected for the season.

Of that, over 45 million are sockeyes and 58 million are pinks. Landings of about two million cohos are the lowest since the mid-1970s and a 7.5 million chum salmon harvest is the weakest since 1979. Chinook volumes also are well below historical levels.

The preliminary value of Bristol Bay’s 40.7 million salmon catch, nearly all sockeyes, is $140.7 million, ranking ninth in the last 20 years. That doesn’t include any post-season price bonuses.

At Southeast Alaska, beam trawlers are back on the water targeting 650,000 pounds of pinks and sidestripe shrimp in a third opener.

Southeast’s Dungeness fishery reopens on October 1. There will again be no fishery for red or blue king crab due to low abundances

Alaska Tanner Crabbing (Photo: Youtube)

On October 5, a  hundred or more divers also could be heading down for over 1.7 million pounds of red sea cucumbers.

A catch of more than 3.5 million sea urchins also is up for grabs, but there are reportedly no buyers.  Southeast divers also are targeting giant geoduck clams.

At Prince William Sound, a 15,000 pound test fishery is underway for golden king crabs; likewise, a nearly seven million pound golden crab fishery is ongoing way out at the Aleutians.

Kodiak crabbers are still pulling up Dungeness crab and a sea cucumber fishery opens on October 1 with a 130,000 pound limit.

Halibut landings have topped 12 million pounds, or 75 percent of the 16 million pound catch limit.  Homer, Kodiak and Seward are the top ports for landings. Sablefish catches have topped 16 million with  Seward, Sitka, Kodiak and Dutch getting the most deliveries. That’s  51% of  the 31.7 million pound black cod quota.


Alaska Halibut Longlining (Photo: Youtube)

And as always, fisheries for cod, pollock, flounders and more are ongoing in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska.

Finally, the state Board of Fisheries has accepted 275 proposals for its upcoming meetings on Prince William Sound. Southeast and statewide shellfish. Meeting dates have been bumped from this winter to sometime next year due to Covid-19 constraints.

The board will consider new meeting dates at an October 15-16 work session.

Author:  Laine Welch | Fish Radio Programs

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