Lamprey fishing on the Yukon. Kwik'pak Fisheries photo
Looks like we'll see another commercial fishery for Arctic lamprey this year on the Yukon River.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game today announced a catch limit of 44,080 pounds of lampreys.
The harvest could begin as soon as Oct. 31. Like last year, the buyer will be Kwik'pak Fisheries.
Pacific Fishing magazine in March published this summary of the 2010 lamprey fishery:
An experimental commercial fishery for Arctic lamprey in late November on the lower Yukon River produced the second-best result since the harvest began in 2003. Fishing with hand-held dipnets through holes sawed in river ice, 22 fishermen delivered 30,713 pounds of the anadromous, eel-like fish to processor Kwik'pak Fisheries, which operated a buying station at the village of Grayling. At $1.25 per pound, the harvest paid $38,391 with an average value per fisherman of $1,745, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game reported. The best lamprey harvest was 49,657 pounds worth $62,000 in 2003. Kwik'pak general manager Jack Schultheis says the lampreys are frozen in the round and sent into Asian and European food markets, with some demand also from research institutions.