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Thread: Shrimping on the North Slope/Beaufort Sea

  1. #1
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default Shrimping on the North Slope/Beaufort Sea

    A couple years ago I was working on a certain Island with in eye sight of kaktovic(sp?). Another guy and I had to drill a hole through very deep ice for a water supply pump for our opperation. I stole a strainer out of the kitchen-atco trailer, to skim the ice off the water. I kid you not the water was only about 5 deep and we could see shrimp from the daylight penetrating the ice. Not little babies, freakin shrimp like out of PWS. It just occured to me that just maybe we are the only two that know there are shrimp up there. Just wondering if anyone has heard of the villiages shrimping up that direction. At one point we had some locals working with us, but don't recall them there at that time or there after. They brought us muktuk and videos of them whaling but never heard them talk about shrimping.

    Don't forget to make up your bait now. I had a bucket left over last winter from the season and it did pretty darn good this season. It never stunk or anything. But having it merinade all winter then juice it up in the spring did wonders for shrimping this past season. Pulled in record numbers for my self quite a few times and higher than normal, last 4 seasons averages. Have a good winter.

  2. #2
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Default

    Here we go, shrimping season has been closed for not even two months, winter just hit, let the shrimping posts begin I cannot wait for spring!
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  3. #3
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Norton Sound

    I know that there are shrimp in Norton Sound. Someone tried to get rid of a dead dog but when it bloated and resurfaced it had shrimp on it. So there is a good possibility farther north too.

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  4. #4
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default they were there then

    if I remember correctly they had a blueish color to them. Might have just been from the light going through the ice. We had no way to try an catch them plus it would have been illegal.

    some divers on a drill ship I worked on found a whale skull in Norton Sound against the base of the rig. Locals said that was very weird as whales have never been seen in the sound, very shallow 30-40' is all. It was towed up to 12 miles off shore, near North Star Island. Can't remember if it was there or Norton sound. But somebody was dropping crab pots and pulled up halibut or flounder. The pots were quickly taken from their possession as it was deemed illegal. Believe it was the derik man. You just never hear about shrimping or even fishing for halibut up that way. I was not trying to start a shrimping thread. It won't be long and they will be asking how deep and what to use and the all time favorite, I won't tell you favorite spot, or I am not looking for your hot spot just some place I can catch shrimp!

  5. #5

    Default

    I guess I'm a bit confused, as you mention Norton Sound and North Star Island and Kaktovik as if they were close to the same area, which of course they are not.

    In any case, I've heard co-workers mention shrimp, and a conversation they had with researchers on the Slope, which mentioned that while there were shrimp, they had almost no tail. The theory being there wasn't enough food for them to develop large tails. That could be pure hogwash, I'm not sure.

    In any case, North Star Island sits in waters between 30-40ft deep, all mud and sand. Not great for the big shrimp, such as Spots, but maybe good for Tiger/Coon shrimp and Pink shrimp.

    While I haven't made it as far as Kaktovik, I've heard that area has more of a rocky bottom than to the west (North Star, etc.) So perhaps there are bigger and better shrimp there.

    Checking the regs, I see that it is legal to use pots to catch shrimp, and there are no limits given except pot limits per person and boat. Other than company policy, I don't see any reason why it would be illegal to shrimp there. Check this link...

    http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/state...kshellfish.pdf

    I do know that some oil field workers enjoy fishing on their off time, but always from shore, or along a river. Naturally using a company vessel or equipment might be against their rules.

    With the recent withdraw of sea ice from the area, things up there are going to change concerning commercial fishing. I hear the Coast Guard is planning on putting in a small station in Barrow to prepare for such changes.

    Perhaps I'll try and bring up a pot and check it out myself.

  6. #6
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default BrainW

    Sorry about the confusion. Yep big difference in location between the three. Kaktovic was a job on flaxman island back on '01. The other job, SSDC later named SDC and the McCovey Project started in Norton Sound north of Nome and was close to Teller. It was towed to North Slope. I know shrimping is legal just not at those times. It was feb or march when we seen the shrimp. I think they looked normal just a wierd color those were in Kaktovic. The other two spots are very shallow and muddy. But halibut or flounder was around. Just both times the sea life was out of season and pots might have been legal at the time, but they had no license or permit.

  7. #7

    Default In the winter of 80-81...

    Exxon drilled wildcat wells on North Star and Flaxman Island. Those wells were capped along with many other island wells drilled along the northern coastline from Prudhoe to Flaxman during that winter.
    I was on three of those islands, which are more or less shallow gravel shoals, Flaxman being an exception.
    Several times I observed shrimp in the water intake screens. Most of the time they were not much more that brine size, but several were of eating size and all blue in color.
    We always figured that because of the shallow water and sandy bottom, there was not enough food supply for them to grow much in size.
    SeaULater

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