Alaska Commercial Fisheries - Openings and Closings
Fishing activity, especially in the commercial salmon and herring industries, depends on the constant openings and closings dictated by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Department fisheries biologists keep close tabs on returning fish runs and announce frequent openings and closures to ensure a steady run of fish, called escapement, to each spawning ground.
Seasons in each region are punctuated by frequent openings and closings in specific areas, and fishermen try to schedule fishing activity so they can move from one opening to another with a minimum of downtime. Sometimes, though, slack time is inevitable, as Fish and Game might close a fishery for 48 hours and then reopen it when the run recovers. These closures give job-seekers a chance to find work mid-season, as crew members sometimes quit during the short breaks and skippers are desperate for help.