Another icy weekend is in store for the Bering Sea snow crab fleet. National Weather Service ice forecaster Kathleen Cole says winds will continue to blow ice into the crab grounds around the Pribilof Islands through the weekend.
“Probably to its furthest south extent by Sunday morning, and then after that, we will get some southerly… a southerly fetch, and then some southerly winds moving up early next week.”
While the southerly winds will push the ice north, away from the crab grounds, Cole says they will also likely push ice into the St. Paul harbor.
“And there is some thicker ice in these floes.”
That could be a problem for boats trying to make deliveries to the Trident Seafoods plant in St. Paul. But Cole says the long-range prognosis for ice is pretty mild compared to last winter. She says the yo-yoing of the ice around the Pribilofs is to be expected, but that the ice probably won’t stick around for long periods of time, and that it might even clear out all together ahead of schedule this spring.
“I’m thinking it might be at least a normal retreat, if not even a little bit faster than normal.”
That’s a shift from earlier long-range projections, which showed the possibility of another icy winter.
via Sea Ice Moves Toward Snow Crab Grounds.
It’s been a record year for ice in the Bering Sea
. The crab fishery
may even need a time extension. Hell, they even had to cancel CatchCon. Mother nature has won the battle this season, only half of the harvestable quota has been taken. Fear not, though! Deadliest Catch
will be returning April 10th
to the Discovery Channel
. I’ve included some photos from Captain Elliot Neese’s twitterfeed and even promo for the upcoming season. Read on after the clip to hear all the latest details from The Cordova Times.
Ice conditions that slowed the Bering Sea snow crab fishery, then eased up, were taking their toll again in early March as the ice moved back in, prompting boats that continued to fish to pull their pots when making deliveries to processors.
Biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game at Dutch Harbor said that as of March 7 the fleet had harvested about 44 million pounds of the 88.9 million pounds allotted for snow crab harvests this season. Last year the fleet had a quota of 54.2 million pounds.
The ice came in to the area of the St. Paul Harbor in February, then receded and fishing activity was going strong through the last week of February, when the ice came back in again and fishermen started pulling their gear, state biologists at Dutch Harbor said.
Of the 61 vessels registered, a dozen had pulled their pots and were not fishing at all because of the ice edge as of March 7, while others were pulling their pots to make deliveries to processors and then resetting them, biologists said.
The crab is being purchased by Trident Seafoods at St. Paul and Alyeska Seafoods, Bering Fisheries, Icicle Seafoods, Unisea and Westward Seafoods at Dutch Harbor.
Prices were reportedly at about $1.88 a pound early in the fishery.
State fisheries officials also have received requests to extend the time limit on the fishery because of ice issues, but said they are still hoping the harvest can be completed within the allotted time. The eastern sub-district of the snow crab fishery runs through May 15, and the western sub-district through May 30.
via Ice pack continues to slow snow crab fishery – The Cordova Times.
Petersburg fishermen and processors are seeing a lull in fishing after a strong showing north of Petersburg so far in the season.
The run has been so strong thus far that the Alaska Department of Fish & Game upped its projections for pink salmon in Southeast, however a recent downswing in areas around Petersburg south to Ketchikan has processors carefully examining the salmon runs.
So far, big numbers of pink salmon have been harvested in districts 10, 12 and 14, on the north side of Kupreanof Island, west side of Admiralty island and north of Chichagof Island.
According to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, as of July 22-23, 20 million fish had been harvested by the purse seine fleet; 18.2 million of those fish were caught in northern districts.
Since the July 22-23 numbers, seine openings have netted an additional 4.9 million pinks on July 26-27, and 2.7 million pinks on July 31-Aug. 1.
Based on catch rates, in-season predictions by the ADF&G are for 67 million pink salmon, up from the projected 55 million pre-season projection.
Fishermen and processors are hoping that projection comes true, as those fishing in southern Southeast around Ketchikan and Petersburg are seeing a lull, according to Dave Ohmer, plant manager of Trident Seafoods and Randy Lantiegne, fleet manager of Icicle Seafoods.
“Southern pinks dropped off last week,” Ohmer said.
Ohmer said the gap is hard to explain.
via Petersburg Pilot.
The salmon season in Southeast Alaska has produced a interesting twist in the last few weeks. After a record breaking run of early pinks in July, the fish have tapered off to a trickle. The closures of Area 1 and Area 2 have prompted many fishermen to worry about the rest of the season. We are currently on the rush north to hope for another big push of fish. If it doesn’t happen in the next week, the season might have quite a surprise ending. Good Luck to everyone out there. Let’s hope the fish are still pouring in. Eat more salmon!
Salmon seining season starts with plenty of boat preparation. Nets must be mended, boats must be painted, and engines must be tuned. The average boat maintenance per season averages around 20,000 dollars, assuming nothing major has gone wrong. This year, we are primarily focused on the net.
At 1440 feet, the net is just over a 1/4 of a mile long and about 74 feet at its deepest. The key to purse seining involves the ability to close or “purse” the bottom of the net. Once the bottom of the net is closed, its just a matter of hauling the gear in. The net can take quite a beating over the course of the season. Dragging it along the bottom and fishing in crazy tides, tends to stretch and distort the overall shape. The main objective is to mend the holes and square up the top and bottom of the nets. Here’s a timelapse of the process in action at the Fisherman’s Terminal in Seattle.
Here are some great details from the fishery. I’m surprised to hear the price of fish dropped so dramatically in just two openers. For many salmon fishermen, price is always a mystery. Click thru to read the whole story
Well, its Friday and we have 2 openers under our belts for the week. The first opener was on Monday, May 16th. The weather was decent and sunny, though there was a bit of a lump out there from a westerly swell. It was a low water opener, with a minus tide. So, big tides and lots of water running through there. Rumors were the river was low and colder than normal and the ocean was warmer than normal, but no one knows what that means. Anyhow, we started inside and targeted kings. We got a handful, including one 50 pounder! My job was to scoop it up with the dip net and bring it aboard. With the high price we get at the beginning of the season, that makes that king about a $300 fish! After that, we jumped outside of the barrier islands and fished in the open ocean.
via Fish Tales: A real rip-snorter……….
The annual rite of spring continues as Alaska Air Cargo flies the season’s first catch of prized Copper River salmon from Cordova, Alaska, to Seattle and points beyond.
The first shipment arrived at the Alaska Air Cargo Warehouse at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport at around 7:45 a.m. Friday, May 15, 2009. University of Washington Husky Football Coach Steve Sarkisian ‘caught’ the ceremonial first salmon donated by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, then passed the 40-pound king salmon to the highest bidder of a KJR radio-sponsored charity auction.
Alaska Airlines‘ Boeing 737-400 freighter touched down with fresh Copper River salmon from three seafood processors: Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Trident Seafoods and Copper River Seafoods.
via Copper River Salmon Arrives | Alaska Air Cargo | Alaska Airlines Delivers This Season’s First Copper River Salmon.