Due significantly to the year’s lower-than-anticipated pink salmon catch, Alaska’s summer salmon harvest looks like it’s going to come in at less than 160 million fish, shy of the 175-million-fish pre-season projection.
Alaska’s summer salmon harvest looks like it’s going to come in at less than 160 million fish, shy of the 175-million-fish pre-season projection.
The main reason behind the year’s lower-than-anticipated catch is a lack of pinks.
Landings of pinks stood at about 93 million in late September, about 20 million less that what was forecasted.
The shortfall is a result of low returns in Prince William Sound, which was expected to bring in 40 million fish and instead only saw 16.5 million fish. However, the pink harvests in Kodiak, Chignik and Alaska Peninsula were strong. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game’s preseason projection called for a statewide pink harvest of 113.2 million fish.
A disappointing chinook catch totaled just over 300,000 fish and was exacerbated by a mediocre 16.3 million chum harvest, about 2 million less than predicted. However, at press time fisheries officials said it was possible that another 200,000 chums might still come through.
One bright spot for the summer season was Bristol Bay’s sockeye harvest, which came in at just under 30 million fish, 6 million over the pre-season forecast, bringing the state’s largest and most valuable fishery total near 42 million fish.
Cohos (silvers) are also coming in at a good clip. At press time, a little more than 3 million fish had been landed statewide. In late September, fresh whole coho was fetching USD 2.85 to USD 3.25 for gillnet-caught fish and USD 3 to USD 3.60 for troll-caught fish.
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