Big numbers for Bristol Bay salmon
Preliminary data on the 2015 Bristol Bay salmon run seems to not only validate but exceed predictions made at the beginning of the season for record stocks.
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Commercial Fisheries, the 2015 inshore Bristol Bay run is estimated at 58 million fish, which is the second-highest run recorded in the past 20 years. It is also 70 percent higher than the average of 34.2 million fish for the same period. The preliminary data also beats even the large runs predicted before the season began, higher than the 52 million fish prediction by 12 percent.
Harvests in Bristol Bay were similarly high, listed at 36.7 million fish, which also ranks second-highest in 20 years. The department broke down the figures to 35.7 million sockeye, 52,584 Chinook, 929,335 chum, 30,282 coho and 2,179 pink salmon.
The timing of this year’s run was off, about seven days late, according to the department. The fish were also smaller, in terms of length and weight, than average. The average sockeye weight of 5.2 pounds this year is the smallest average weight recorded in 20 years.
Ex-vessel values for the Bristol Bay harvests totaled USD 94.8 million (EUR 84 million), which was 15 percent below the 20-year average of USD 111 million (EUR 98.4 million).