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Freezing February weather doesn’t keep Alaskans off the fishing grounds from Southeast to Norton Sound.

In the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska, boats are pulling in pollock, cod, flounders and other groundfish.

More than 3 billion pounds of pollock will come out of the Bering Sea this year, and another 250 million pounds from the gulf.

Prince William Sound also has a winter pollock fishery that will produce nearly 5 million pounds.

Many Alaska crab fisheries are underway or soon to be.

Bering Sea crabbers have taken about 17 percent of their 40.5 million pound snow crab harvest, and 30 percent of a Tanner harvest of just over 2 million pounds. The golden king crab catch was nearing 5 million pounds out of a 6 million pound quota.

A red king crab fishery opened in Norton Sound on Feb. 1. No buyers mean the crab will be sold to eager locals.

A Tanner crab fishery also will open at Prince William Sound for one month by special permit starting on March 1.

Southeast Alaska’s Tanner and golden king crab fisheries open on Feb. 17. A million pounds or more could come out of the Tanner fishery from 75 crabbers. For goldens, 14 crabbers are expected to drop pots for a 76,500 pound limit.

Also at the Panhandle, fishing continues for black rockfish and ling cod.

About 150 divers are finishing up a 1.7 million pound sea cucumber harvest, and 50 more are still going down for over half a million pounds of geoduck clams.

The Pacific halibut season starts on March 6 and runs through Dec. 7.

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Laine Welch has covered the Alaska fish beat for print and radio since 1988. She has also worked “behind the counter” at retail and wholesale seafood companies in Kodiak and Cape Cod. Click here to send her an email.

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