Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bristol Bay Salmon Fishery Kicks In as Copper River Peaks

In a single day in mid-June, the preliminary harvest estimate for Bristol Bay’s Egegik district jumped by 38,000 sockeye salmon, and the renowned red salmon fishery was off and running, even as the Copper River fishery peaked.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s preliminary Alaska commercial salmon harvest blue sheet, which offers daily updates on statewide salmon fisheries, showed that the total harvest in Egegik had jumped from 17,000 red salmon on June 16 to a total harvest of 55,000 reds through June 17. ADF&G’s forecast calls for a total run of some 27 million sockeyes into Bristol Bay this year, with a harvest of near 17 million fish, including 3.36 million for Egegik, 5.48 million in the Naknek-Kvichak, 6.6 million in the Nushagak, and about 890,000 for the Ugashik.

The Copper River fishery forecast had anticipated a commercial harvest of 1.8 million sockeyes and some 33,000 king salmon. Through June 17, that harvest stood at nearly 1.4 million reds and just 9,000 kings. State fisheries biologists in Cordova said the sockeye harvest to date was ahead of the forecast, while the Chinook catch was much less than anticipated.

Meanwhile most permit holders had left the Copper River drift fishery for the Coghill and Eschamy drift districts in Prince William Sound, and with the general seine fishery picking up speed, the total Prince William Sound harvest was about 2 million salmon of all species. At Kodiak, harvesters have delivered 310,000 salmon to processors, including 298,000 sockeye, and 11,000 chums.

The harvest has reached 231,000 salmon in the Alaska Peninsula, including some 105,000 chums, 99,000 reds and 27,000 pink salmon taken in the South Peninsula.

In Cook Inlet, the bulk of the harvest so far has been in the eastern district of Lower Cook Inlet, with 71,000 sockeyes harvested.

Troll harvests of Chinook salmon in Southeast Alaska now total 78,000 fish, including some 57,000 from the winter troll and 18,000 from the spring troll.

Go to for daily harvest updates from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

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