Norton Sound’s winter crab fishery finally opened Monday after poor sea ice delayed commercial crabbers for about a month.
Jim Menard is the area manager for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. He said ice conditions are improving, but he doesn’t expect all fishermen to drop their pots immediately.
“It’s about half and half. Some are saying good pans are starting to develop and they want to get going. Others are saying they’re going to stay pat for a little bit and look at the situation,” he said. “This week I haven’t seen any open leaves outside my office window, so it’s maybe looking a little more promising out there.”
Menard said the wait won’t make much of a difference for the overall harvest. After catching nearly 100,000 pounds of red king crab in last’s year record-breaking season, a new quota will close the fishery this year after just 41,376 pounds.
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