Southeast AK updates: April troll fishery, shrimp season shift, sea cukes closure

Southeast AK fishing updates: troll king salmon, pot shrimp, sea cucumbers

by | April 1, 2022

Trollers are back on the water for kings, pot shrimp shifts from fall to spring, cukes come up short

Southeast Alaska troller Credit: ASMI

Southeast Alaska’s winter Chinook trolling season returned to April after a four-year hiatus.

KCAW’s Robert Woolsey reports that commercial trolling for king salmon reopens on April 3 for the outside waters of Southeast Alaska, and could remain open for most of the month, following an emergency order by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game.

“The move partially restores the traditional timeline of the winter troll fishery, which in 2018 was cut back by six weeks to March 15, in order to conserve stocks of wild salmon returning to Southeast Alaska’s major river systems,” Woolsey wrote. The move caught many trollers off-guard. Read the rest of the story here

Southeast AK spot shrimp

Bigger shift for pot shrimp fishery

The Alaska Board of Fisheries voted in March to change the popular pot shrimp fishery season from the fall to the spring. Advisors cited conservation concerns saying the shrimp are loaded with eggs in the fall.

Advisory committees from Sitka and eastern Prince of Wales Island submitted proposals seeking the change away from an October start. Shrimper and Sitka committee member Stacey Wayne told the board there are conservation concerns with shrimp.

“In October the shrimp are heavy with eggs,” Wayne said. “They usually start laying their eggs in February.  It can go through even early May that they’re, depending on the year, they’re still laying their eggs but definitely the time when we’re fishing them, there’s a lot of eggs. And that just went contrary to kind of a conservation approach.”

Proposals sought to change the start date to May 15th, or later.

[Side comment: I can personally say that for several years we purchased SE pot shrimp and had it shipped to our home in Kodiak. The shrimp were delicious –but the fact that nearly every one was packed with eggs was a turn-off. It really produced a much smaller product when they were cleaned and the extra egg weight added to shipping costs. And we were bothered about all the eggs being taken.]

Read the rest of the story at KFSK in Petersburg link here

Red sea cucumber, Southeast AK

Sea cucumber fishery comes up short

The 2021/22 Southeast Alaska sea cucumber fishery closed by regulation on March 31.

The fishery opened on October 4 with a total guideline harvest level (GHL) of 1,872,800 pounds of sea cucumbers. The total harvest of 1,868,503 pounds was 0.7% under the total GHL. ADF&G reported that 167 divers participated and made 1,537 landings.

About Laine

Laine Welch has covered the Alaska fish beat for print and radio since 1988. She also has worked “behind the counter” at retail and wholesale seafood companies in Kodiak and on Cape Cod.


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