The Southern District of Lower Cook Inlet, which includes Kachemak Bay, opened to seiners this Monday, June 17, with sixteen-hour openers scheduled for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game reported Monday’s salmon harvest as four Chinook and 110 sockeye on four deliveries, all from the China Poot section. Sections with fewer than three deliveries are not included in public reports.
Southern District set gillnetters, who have been fishing two forty-eight-hour openers per week since June 3, have delivered 74 Chinook, 2068, and 44 chum to date. Those numbers are below the five year average but considerably higher than the harvest to this point in 2018.
The Upper Cook Inlet drift gillnet season opens Thursday, June 20. Areas on the west side of the Inlet have been open to set gillnetters, and Fish and Game reports a total catch so far of 413 chinook, 7068 sockeye, and one pink.
Just about 7.5 million pounds of halibut have been landed across the state, out of a total allowable catch of almost 17.5 million pounds. Homer leads Alaskan ports in halibut deliveries with just over one million pounds landed, slightly ahead of Kodiak with 950,000 pounds.
Sitka is currently the top port for sablefish landings, 2.1 million pounds, ahead of Kodiak with almost 1.9 million pounds and Seward with 1.6 million. Homer has landed about 240,000 pounds of sablefish. The total allowable catch for IFQ sablefish in 2019 is 25.8 million pounds, of which a little over ten million pounds has already been caught.
The Gulf of Alaska trawl fleet is currently focusing on Pacific Ocean Perch and arrowtooth flounder. The National Marine Fisheries Service reports 803 metric tons, or almost 1.8 million pounds, of Pacific Ocean Perch caught in the week beginning June 8, and nearly one million pounds of arrowtooth flounder in the same week. Draggers also reported significant catches of Pacific cod and shallow water flatfish.