Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wild Salmon Catch in Alaska Exceeds 5.5 Million Fish

Alaska’s annual wild salmon catch is quickening its pace, with Bristol Bay, Cook Inlet and Western Alaska harvesters bringing thousands of fish, even as Copper River has peaked, but still continues to keep processors busy.

As of June 24, the estimated harvest stood at 5,506,000 salmon of all species, including 3,906,000 sockeye, 1,126,000 chum, 338,000 pink, 117,000 king and 20,000 silver salmon.

The state’s central region, including Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound, has delivered to processors nearly 3 million salmon, the bulk of them reds. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game estimated in its daily blue sheet that those harvesters have delivered 2,144,000 sockeye, 561,000 chum, 198,000 pink, 15,000 silver and 10,000 king salmon.

For the Copper River district drift fishery alone, the estimated harvest stood yesterday at 1,591,000 fish, including 1,543,000 sockeye and 9,000 kings.

State area research biologist Chuck Prazil at King Salmon said the run into Bristol Bay is just starting to ramp, with the usual overcast weather, but if it stays at the usual pace the run appears to be at this week, it should peak right around July 4.

The catch in Bristol Bay’s Egegik District alone rose from 115,000 sockeyes by June 23 to 190,000 reds delivered on June 24, and the Togiak district has reached a harvest of 3,000 fish. Meanwhile prices are starting to fluctuate more.

At the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, whole Copper River sockeyes were commanding $69.95 a fish, with fillets being sold for $19.99 a pound. Pike Place was out of Copper River kings, but whole wild troll-caught king salmon from Southeast Alaska were fetching $16.99 a pound, and fillets of those kings $27.99.

In Anchorage, 10th and M Seafoods offered Prince William Sound reds for $6.95 a pound for the whole fish and $9.95 a pound for fillets. FishEx posted prices for wild salmon, including $44.95 a pound for fresh and frozen Copper River kings, $32.95 a pound for fresh Copper River sockeye fillets and $29.95 a pound for fresh Cook Inlet king salmon fillets.

Consumers are also finding online deals for smoked, fillet and canned wild Alaska salmon products via

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