The first experimental release of hatchery-reared red king crab in Alaska has been completed, state researchers announced.
The juvenile crab, from broodstock -- egged females -- collected at Alitak Bay, Kodiak Island, were reared at the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery and transported to the NOAA Kodiak Laboratory.
They were released at Cozy Cove near the village of Old Harbor on Kodiak Island Sept. 25. The site was selected because it is well sheltered with plenty of red king crab habitat.
While the reintroduction might lead some to believe this is the start of restoring the once-plentiful Kodiak king crab fishery, Bob Foy, laboratory director for the Alaska Fisheries Science Center Kodiak laboratory, told Alaska Dispatch in August the project is a long way from claiming that.
“This is just an experiment, not a stocking effort,” Foy said from Kodiak on Monday.