The earliest news about where fish are headed might be a day late this summer.
The Port Moller test fishery may get started a day late this year after the boat used for the project had a last-minute engine replacement.
Central Region commercial fisheries regional supervisor Tracy Lindnau said the F/V Pandalus was bound for Port Moller after successfully completing sea trials with a new engine.
“Essentially the motor just broke," he said. "The motor just failed. They limped back to Homer without needing a tow.”
The motor failed while the boat was in Southcentral Alaska, before it headed west. Lindnau said staff worked quickly to get a new motor and install it over Memorial Day weekend.
The F/V Pandalus fishes five or six stations about 10 miles apart for the test fishery. The catches are used to provide a sense of run strength and timing to each of Bristol Bay’s five fishing districts.
Most years, the project operates from June 10 to July 10. Port Moller is about 150 to 200 miles southwest of Bristol Bay’s fishing districts, so the repair means the project may start a day late depending on how long it takes the vessel to make the trip.