Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg
Commercial salmon trollers in Southeast Alaska have seen a better catch this winter season.
Trollers have landed 12,700 king salmon in Southeast, three months into the season. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s regional troll management biologist Pattie says overall it’s been a pretty good season.
The 10-year average catch for this time of the season is 11,500 kings. The winter season opened in early October and can remain open through April, unless the fleet catches 45,000 kings before that date. Last year’s total winter harvest topped 42,000 Chinook.
Skannes says the number of trollers out fishing has been up this winter.
Other weeks have seen effort drop off substantially with bad winter weather keeping permit holders in port. Typically, trolling effort slows down in the middle part of the season and ramps back up again in March and April. Skannes says 79 percent of the regional winter harvest to date has come from three districts.
The price for troll caught king salmon has remained strong this winter, averaging $6.68 a pound for the first three months of the season. Most recently the price is averaging closer to $7.60 a pound.
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