Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Almost lamprey time again on the Yukon

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.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is just great, I can't believe this fishery is allowed to happen on the lower Yukon! This is obviously part of a strategic campaign to deny non-Alaskans an opportunity to participate in this lucrative fishery. Why is Alaska continually trying to take jobs away from hard working fishing families from the Pacific NorthWest? When will it end? Obviously the solution is to allow 4 of the 7 seats on the Board of Fisheries to be held by 3 Seattle residents and one from Portland.

Anonymous said...

As you can see from the article, there is not much money in this lamprey fishery. It's an opportunity for poor village people from the Western Alaska area to do what they do best - fish the resources in their home areas.

Anonymous said...

Classic overused blather about the "poor people" in Western Alaska. C'mon man, can't you see through this ruse to cheat people from Washington and Oregon out of fisheries that rightfully belong to them?

Anonymous said...

Opportunities are few and far between in many of these areas. It's good to see positive developments like these.

Anonymous said...

Is the market SO SMALL that less than 50,000 pounds of raw catch will 'crash' it?

Anonymous said...

Wes, could you please start moderating you blog and delete comments that are irrelevant to the news and frankly just annoying to read (example comment #1).

Anonymous said...

Yes, please moderate irony out of the blog comments.

We just want comments on the facts, not ironic comments on the facts.

So all things in moderation - cut the irony.

Stop it.

Stop it now.

Anonymous said...

Irony aside, I want all those poor displaced Washingmachineting's and Oreeegone's to move on up the coast to qualify for this killer must-have fishery. Hell, them slippery lam-per-eze look like jus' like the perfect thing to take back home to their darlins'!

Anonymous said...

I understand those lampreys are very rich in oil content. No wonder those poor people in Asia eat them - one little lamprey would feed a family of four no problem. Americans need to learn from those people over there.

Anonymous said...

Pretty sad when a blood sucking eel is worth more per pound than a Bristol Bay sockeye. Oh that's right, they're not, it's just that the roe, milt, and omega 3 extracts don't exist, right?

Anonymous said...

lamprey tar-tar......yum.:)

Anonymous said...

I second the BB sockeye comparison! Ol chucky is going to have a conniption the day they actually get a realistic price for all those #1's.

Anonymous said...

thats right, we in alaska dont want out of staters in on our fishing industry, we work hard to preserve our wild lands, especially the natural harvests provided by them. if you dont like it move here and live here year round, otherwise, find a new job, we have enough problems with our fisheries with out adding unappreciative money mongers to the mix, those who fish these waters have done so for generations. so if your not making enough money fishing where you are then stop and let the population of fish regrow, in the mean time, north dakotas hiring mcdonalds people at 16 bucks an hour

Anonymous said...

Alaska is basically Canada's Kuato

Zachary Andrew said...

Some of the lampreys is used by the dog mushers to feed their dogs too.