Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Humpies Boost Wild Salmon Harvest to Nearly 90 Million Fish

Alaska’s wild salmon harvest for the 2012 season stood at 89.9 million fish by Aug. 10, a leap of nearly 40 million fish since July 27.

The harvest of humpies alone rose from13 million on July 27 to 22.4 million by Aug. 3 and up to 39 million on Aug. 10, according to preliminary harvest reports from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Harvest totals compiled by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game through Aug. 10 showed a total of 34,686,000 sockeyes, 39,008,000 pink, 14,866,000 chum, 1,152,000 coho and 210,000 Chinook salmon delivered to processors. The biggest jump came in pink salmon harvests in Southeast Alaska, where the catch of pinks rose from 1.2 million to 9 million fish between July 27 and Aug. 10.

In Prince William Sound, the humpy harvest rose in one week from 12.2 million to 18 million pinks, while for the same period at Kodiak, the humpy harvest jumped from 5.5 million fish to 10 million pinks.

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute noted in its June market bulletin that a survey of fishery conditions and available forecasts suggested that the 2012 wild salmon production might decline by 30 percent, or 690 million pounds, with reduced supplies in Russia and Alaska.

The largest decline, however, was forecast to come from Russia. Russian pink salmon harvests, like those in Alaska, have recently followed a two-year up/down cycle, ASMI’s report noted. Pink salmon harvests are generally much lower in even years as opposed to odd years in both countries.

In Southeast Alaska’s troll fishery, the regional power troll coho catch rates for the week ended Aug. 10 were 77 fish a day. The average price was $1.40 a pound for the silvers. The seasonal average coho weight of 5 pounds is still relatively small, but for the week ending Aug. 10, the average weight of cohos increased to 5.6 pounds, and the cumulative coho catch in the troll fishery since July 1 stood at just over 484,500 fish.

In the Southeast purse seine fishery, the cumulative purse seine harvest was 7.9 million pink and 4.6 million chum salmon, with landings reported by 229 boats. The second in-season pink salmon forecast for the Southeast purse seine fishery, based on data through week 31, projected a harvest of 25 million fish, somewhat higher than the pre-season forecast of 17 million, state biologists said.

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