Norton Sound Winter Red King Crab Fishery Begins Feb. 1

File photo via Norton Sound Economic Development Corp.

Although the allowable harvest is yet to be determined, the commercial red king crab fishery in Alaska’s Norton Sound is set to begin on Feb. 1, with a guideline harvest level (GHL) similar to last year’s winter fishery.

To date, no buyers have registered for this winter red king crab season and participating commercial crab permit holders will need their own markets.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) said catcher-seller and direct marketer application forms are available at the Nome ADF&G office or online at

Crewmember licenses are also available at ADF&G in Nome or online at

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Crab Plan Team has yet to make recommendations on 2024 Norton Sound stock status. Still, ADF&G estimates that the legal male biomass will be similar to last year.

Once the federal council adopts the overfishing level and acceptable biological catch, the department is expected to set the GHL for both the winter and summer 2024 commercial crab season and issue an advisory announcement.

ADF&G has reminded harvesters that crab pots in the winter commercial crab fishery must be set through the ice and regulations require those intending to participate to stop subsistence crabbing by Jan. 18, which is 14 days before the season start date.