Once the quota of 37,260 pounds is reached, Norton Sound’s red king crab CDQ fishery is set to close for the season. That should happen today (Wednesday), capping off a fast and successful winter crabbing season with a record-high catch price ($7.75/lb.).
According to fish reports, 245,000 pinks were counted at the Shaktoolik River — and 744,000 at Unalakleet — on July 13th. Fishers may not have seen fish in those numbers this past weekend, but they’re soon expected to “shoot back up,” says ADF&G.
In the first season shortened by a new quota, winter fishermen harvested the allowed 41,376 pounds of red king crab in just over a month.
Commercial fishermen are on par with last year’s record-breaking catch, but they stand to make less money because of a new, reduced quota.
Norton Sound’s winter crab fishery finally opened Monday after poor sea ice delayed commercial crabbers for about a month.
The Board of Fisheries considered limiting the gillnet size in Norton Sound’s Subdistrict 1, eventually deciding against it, and passed all 6 Arctic proposals.
Commercial fishermen at Alaska’s northernmost salmon fishery caught more than 300,000 pounds of chum salmon, pocketing over $800,000.
Western Alaska is in midst of one of the best salmon runs in decades, and that means fishermen are catching record numbers of chum.
This winter’s commercial king crab harvest broke a new record with nearly 100,000 pounds harvested from Norton Sound. To put that in perspective, the previous record was 62,000 pounds in 2013.
Commercial salmon values were at record highs across Norton Sound this summer.