Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Alaska’s Wild Salmon Harvest Grows to More Than 4.5 Million Fish

With the Copper River District now past its peak, and Bristol Bay, Cook Inlet, Kodiak and the Alaska Peninsula starting to gain harvest, the statewide salmon harvest now stands at a preliminary catch total of nearly 4.6 million fish.

That includes some 3,295,000 sockeye, 1,061,000 chum, 141,000 pink, 48,000 Chinook and 4,000 coho salmon.

The bulk of the 2012 harvest to date is from Prince William Sound, where harvesters netted more than 2 million fish, including 1,366,000 reds, 630,000 chum, 11,000 kings and fewer than 1,000 each of coho and pink salmon.

The Copper River District harvest alone accounted for 1,181,000 reds, 21,000 chum and 11,000 king salmon. Biologists said the peak of the Copper River red salmon run has passed. Still catches and escapements continue to be at good levels.

Bristol Bay harvesters in the Egegik district and also in the Naknek-Kvichak district, harvested about 30,000 fish per district. The Ugashik harvest stood at fewer than 1,000 reds and there was no harvest report yet from the Nushagak.

Biologists said fish were holding in the Egegik River because of cold outflow from Becharof Lake.

In the eastern district of Upper Cook Inlet, fishermen netted some 79,000 reds, compared with about 1,000 reds in the northern district of Upper Cook Inlet, and another 3,000 were caught in the southern district of Lower Cook Inlet .

Kodiak harvesters netted 378,000 salmon of all species through June 22, including 290,000 reds, 80,000 chum and 8,000 pinks while at Chignik, the harvest was reported to be 495,000 salmon, including 454,000 sockeye, 31,000 chum and 9,000 pink salmon.

For the Alaska Peninsula, the bulk of the harvest was on the south side, a total of 1,386,000 fish. The catch included 986,000 reds, 270,000 chum, 124,000 pink and 6,000 Chinooks. On the north side of the Peninsula, the harvest was 14,000 reds.

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