Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Harvest of Sockeye, Chum and Silvers Slowing

The season may be slowing, but the fish are still running. Slightly more than 150,000 salmon were harvested in Alaska last week, including 70,000 keta, 60,000 coho and 20,000 sockeyes. That’s according to Garrett Evridge of the McDowell Group in Juneau, Alaska, who prepares the weekly salmon harvest updates for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

The year-to-date harvest of about 17.4 million keta salmon is 28 percent lower than 2017’s pace but similar to the five-year average.

Coho harvests of about 3.4 million, is a third lower than 2017 and 29 percent below the five-year average, with only a week or two of silver salmon fishing remaining.

A minimal number of pink or Chinook salmon were harvested in Alaska last week.

Evridge said that few additional sockeye are expected to be harvested this year.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s (ADF&G) preliminary summary for Bristol Bay describes this year’s harvest as the largest on record, measured by value and size of the return.

All this brought the 2018 preliminary Alaska commercial salmon harvest as of Sept. 25 up to 110,643,000 wild salmon delivered to processors, including more than 50 million sockeyes, nearly 40 million humpies, more than 17 million chum, 3.4 million silver and 223,000 kings.

On a regional basis, those preliminary ADF&G catch totals include over 75 million salmon in the central region, including Bristol Bay, Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound; 18.5 million fish for Southeast Alaska; nearly 15 million for the Westward region, including Kodiak, the Aleutians and Alaska Peninsula; and 2.3 million salmon for the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region.

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