BARROW (AP) -- Four bowheads have already been harvested in the spring whaling season for northwestern Alaska, and the count could climb quickly with reports of open water near Barrow and large numbers of migrating whales.
Whale monitors with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had counted 45 whales in the area on the eastward spring migration.
Of the four early strikes, one was reported for Savoonga, on St. Lawrence Island, two for Point Hope, and one for Barrow.
Clarence Waghiyi's crew harvested the first whale of the season for Savoonga April 15. It was about 45 feet long.
The second whale was harvested in Point Hope by Elijah Attungana on April 17, then another was taken by Jacob Lane Jr.'s crew April 22.
The official reports to the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission were not yet available, but Attungana's whale was about 27 feet long and Lane's was 37 feet long.
The first whale for Barrow was taken Monday by Arnold Brower Sr.'s ABC Crew. It was a 30-foot 11-inch male.
Point Hope has had much better ice conditions than last spring's season, when no leads opened until late in the migration and only one whale was taken.
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