PETERSBURG (AP) -- Trollers in southeast Alaska are back fishing this week with the start of the winter season.
The fleet will be allowed to catch as many as 45,000 chinook salmon between now and when the season ends April 15. It began on Oct. 11.
While it's unlikely the fleet will reach its limit for the winter season, southeast Alaska fisheries did exceed the king salmon limit for the summer season.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game Biologist Brian Lynch said two gear groups pushed Alaska over the limit.
''For the 2001 season we came in at about 187,500 so we were about 5 percent over the quota. And troll, driftnet and the seine fisheries were all under. Sportfish and the Yakatat setnet fishery were over on their allocations,'' Lynch said.
Cohos were the real money makers for trollers this summer.
''The end of the summer season turned out really good for cohos,'' he said. Cohos were strong enough so that the fishery was reopened for about six days, ending on Sept. 30.
''Right up to the very end we had very high catch rates. There were people that were getting up to 100 coho a day up to the very end,'' Lynch said.
The bulk of the work in the winter fishery happens between now and early December when many trollers wind down for the holidays. Fishing normally picks up again in early March.
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