Bristol Bay’s famed sockeye salmon fishery is off and running, with 1.5 million red salmon so far – mainly from the Egegik District – helping to boost the statewide preliminary harvest to 8,974,000 fish.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s (ADF&G) latest data report shows deliveries in the Egegik District of 1.4 million sockeyes, followed by 138,000 reds in the Ugashik District and 37,000 in the Naknek-Kvichak. Togiak district harvesters have brought in another 10,000 reds, plus 7,000 chum salmon.
Prince William Sound processors now have delivery of 1.8 million salmon, including 1.1 million chum, 595,000 reds, 17,000 pinks and 13,000 Chinook salmon. The Copper River drift fishery’s catch has reached 434,000 fish, including 411,000 sockeye, 13,000 kings and 10,000 chum salmon. The king harvest was above the preseason forecast, while sockeyes were still tracking well below the forecast, although still within the bounds of what to expect, said Jeremy Botz, gillnet area manager at Cordova for ADF&G.
Chinook average weights for the Copper River fishery were up by two to three pounds over last year, and sockeyes by half a pound, putting the overall average at 20.5 pounds for kings and 5.5 pounds for red salmon. Botz said foraging must have been better in the ocean this year to help with that overall gain.
Cook Inlet’s preliminary numbers includes 125,000 sockeye, 2,000 kings, 2,000 chum and about one thousand pink salmon.
In Alaska’s westward region, the preliminary catch data shows nearly four million salmon taken by fishermen in the Alaska Peninsula, including 2.4 million reds, 1.1 million humpies, 489,000 chum and 4,000 kings.
Kodiak harvesters have delivered 668,000 fish, bringing processors 548,000 sockeye, 78,000 chum, 40,000 pinks and 2,000 kings.
In Southeast Alaska the harvest is at 277,000 fish, with 172,000 chum, 68,000 Chinook, 33,000 reds and 4,000 humpies.
The Lower Yukon harvest of succulent Yukon keta has reached 97,000 fish.