Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wild Salmon Harvest in Alaska Jumps
to 23.6 Million Fish

Commercial harvests of wild salmon by fishermen in Alaska has jumped to 23,626 million fish, including 16,444,000 sockeye, 4,651,000 pink, 2,361,000 chum, 151,000 Chinook and 19,000 silver salmon. For the same period just a week ago, the estimated harvest came to 5.5 million salmon of all species.

In Alaska’s central region, including Bristol Bay, Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound, harvesters have delivered 19,563,000 fish, including more than 14 million sockeyes, 4.4 million humpies, more than 1 million chum, 22,000 king and 2,000 silvers.

The run into Bristol Bay, which is expected to peak this week, has already produced a harvest of 11,160,000 reds, 207,000 chums and 9,000 king salmon, delivering more than 11 million 376,000 fish to processors. The biggest harvest within Bristol Bay has been in the Naknek-Kwichak, with 4,628,000 salmon hooked, and close behind are the Nushagak district, with a catch of 3,507,000 salmon, and Egegik district, with 3,129,000 salmon delivered to processors.

The king run on the Nushagak, which started off strong, fell a little behind the escapement goal range this week, but was expected to reach the goal within the next few days, said Tim Sands, an area management biologist at Dillingham.

In Cook Inlet, 333,000 salmon have been caught, 323,000 of them sockeyes, while in Prince William Sound, the harvest total reached 7,855,000 fish, including 4.4 million humpies, 2.6 million reds, 793,000 chum, 11,000 kings and 1,000 cohos.

That includes 1.7 million salmon from the Copper River drift district.

On the Alaska Peninsula, the harvest has grown to 1.8 million salmon, with fishermen delivering 1.2 million sockeyes, 389,000 chum, 184,000 pink, 3,000 king and 2,000 silvers. In Kodiak, deliveries to processors have to date included 1.1 million salmon, including 983,000 sockeyes, 94,000 chum, 24,000 pink and 2,000 king salmon.

The Lower Yukon has also had a healthy summer chum run, delivering more than 231,000 fish to processors.

With more and more wild salmon competing for consumer dollars, Copper River sockeye salmon are still commanding $59.95 a fish at the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle. The Pike Place Fish Market also is offering whole fresh trolled king salmon from Southeast Alaska for $16.99 a pound, and fillets for $27.99 a pound.

At 10th and M Seafoods in Anchorage, red salmon from Main Bay and Whittier was selling this week for $7.95 for the headed and gutted whole fish and $10.95 a pound for fillets; while the price for Southeast trolled kings was $17.95 a pound for fillets and $12,95 a pound for the whole headed and gutted fish.

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