Alaska’s salmon season officially kicks off on Thursday, May 14, at Copper River near Cordova with the arrival of kings and sockeyes. Other salmon fisheries will quickly follow.

Alaska’s total 2020 salmon catch is projected at just under 133 million fish, a significant drop from the 213.2 million forecast for 2019, which resulted in a harvest of 208 million fish.

The state’s largest herring fishery at Togiak in Bristol Bay opened on May 3. Icicle is the only buyer for a haul of nearly 39,000 tons of herring caught for their roe.

Kodiak’s roe herring fishery is still underway with catches topping 1,500 tons. The price was reported at $300 per ton.

A small, one day a week herring fishery is underway at Upper Cook Inlet through May 31. The UCI’s 200-ton smelt fishery runs from May 1 through June.

Dungeness crab opened around Kodiak on May 1.

Southeast Alaska’s longest ongoing fishery — beam trawling for pink and sidestripe shrimp — opened on May 1 with a catch quota of nearly 1.8 million pounds. A pot shrimp fishery opens on May 15 with a 32,000-pound quota.

A ling cod fishery is underway, and Southeast divers are still going down for giant geoduck clams.

Trollers will be out on the water this month targeting hatchery kings in several regions.

At Prince William Sound a second opener for big spot shrimp was set to wrap up on May 9. The total catch by 60 boats will come in at just over 68,000 pounds.

Just over 2 million pounds of halibut has been landed since the mid-March opener.

Blackcod catches at just over 5 million pounds also are down.

The Bering Sea snow crab fishery is wrapping up with a 30.6 million pound catch. Final prices won’t be settled until July

And as always, catches for cod, pollock, flounders and much more are ongoing in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea.

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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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