Snow Crabbers Face Icy End of Season

Wednesday, April 03 2013

The Bering Sea snow crab season is almost over, but the final stretch is shaping up to be icy.

As of Tuesday, 89 percent of the 66 million pound harvest had been landed, and two-thirds of vessels had checked out of the fishery, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The remaining 22 boats could get shut out of the crab grounds this week.

National Weather Service forecaster Kathleen Cole says the ice edge will likely graze St. George Island by the end of the week.

“We will have several days of 20 mile movement, which is pretty good. That’s a fast movement for ice in a day. And then it’s going to slow down some. But when the cold air hits it this weekend, it’s just going to scream down.”

The ice varies in thickness, averaging between 10 and 12 inches, but reaching up to two and a half feet in places. Cole says this kind of springtime ice advance has been fairly common in recent years.

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