Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Alaska Wild Salmon Harvest Exceeds 140 Million Fish

Pink salmon runs in Alaska are headed toward their peak in early August, with the state’s commercial wild salmon harvest topping 140 million fish, including 95.6 million humpies.

“It’s going to be a good year for folks in most commercial fisheries,” said Geron Bruce, assistant director of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Commercial Fisheries.

“Salmon fisheries have been good to Alaska for quite a while now,” Bruce said.

“All the major pink salmon producing areas are producing well, especially Prince William Sound and Southeast, but even the Alaska Peninsula is producing better this year than in several years, and Kodiak is doing well too.”

An item of interest, he said is that a number of the salmon runs this year and in recent years have been a little bit early, “and it will be interesting to see if the pink salmon runs in Prince William Sound and Southeast peak early.”  If the runs start to drop in the next week or so, that’s an indication that the peak is past, “but right now it is still building,” he said.

The record pink salmon commercial harvest in Alaska is 161 million pinks in 2005.

The ADF&G blue sheet, the daily preliminary commercial salmon harvest update, noted on August 6 a total harvest to date of 95,618,000 humpies, 28,323,000 sockeye, 14,428,000 chum, 1,677,000 coho, and 296,000 Chinook salmon.

In Prince William Sound, the harvest of 53,842,000 fish included 48,103,000 pink, 3,400,000 chum, 2,274,000 sockeye, 37,000 silver and 10,000 king salmon,

Harvesters in the Southeast region of Alaska had delivered 43,630,000 fish, including 34,202,000 pink, 7,523,000 chum, 1,087,000 coho, 599,000 red and 219,000 king salmon.

In Cook Inlet, the harvest reached 3,624,000 salmon, including 2,719,000 red, 488,000 pink, 218,000 chum, 194,000 coho and 5,000 kings.

Kodiak processors were busy with delivery of over 10 million fish, including 7,432,000 humpies, 2,041,000 sockeye, 606,000 chum, 43,000 coho and 32,000 kings, while at Chignik, fishermen delivered nearly 3 million fish, including 2,295,000 reds, 515,000 pink, 141,000 chum, 23,000 silver and 3,000 Chinook.

On the Alaska Peninsula, with most activity in the South Peninsula, the harvest of 8.6 million salmon included 4,870,000 humpies, 2,672,000 red, 882,000 chum, 218,000 coho, and 6,000 kings.

The Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region meanwhile had brought in nearly one million fish, the bulk of them –458,000 fish—being chums from the Lower Yukon.  Collectively harvesters on the Yukon River, Norton Sound and the Kuskokwim River also brought in 50,000 sockeye, 42,000 coho, 8,000 pink and 2,000 Chinook salmon.

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