The Bristol Bay sockeye harvest is setting the pace for the Alaska summer salmon season, as landings in that productive region, through July 5, are nearly on par with last year’s total haul. A total of 17.4 million reds have been taken in Bristol Bay, just shy of last year’s 17.9-million-fish tally. 

Overall, 23.2 million sockeyes have been landed, representing 69 percent of the season forecast, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. 

Sockeyes are the story thus far in the season, as the other major species come online in the middle of summer. Just 15 percent of the season forecast for pink salmon has been caught, a total of 10.9 million fish. The 2014 pink salmon forecast calls for 74.7 million fish, down significantly from last year’s banner catch of 219 million fish worth USD 691.1 million (EUR 508.3 million). 

Only 3.1 million chum salmon have been caught, 16 percent of the season forecast, while only 34,000 cohos have been landed, or 1 percent of the season forecast. King salmon catches are also low, but the 158,000 fish taken thus far represent 53 percent of the season forecast. 

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