Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Alaska Wild Salmon Season Draws to a Close

Commercial harvests of wild salmon for 2018 in Alaska are nearing an end, with about 500,000 salmon harvested in the past week, putting the overall preliminary harvest total at 110,450,000 fish. That total accounts for upwards of 50 million sockeyes, 39 million pinks, 17 million chums, 3.3 million cohos and 223,000 kings.

Fisheries economist Garrett Evridge of the McDowell Group in Juneau, Alaska, says in his latest weekly report to the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute that Alaska’s 2018 pink salmon harvest is about six percent above 2016 levels, but well below the 2018 forecast of about 70 million humpies.

In the wake of two strong weeks of keta harvest, production in that fishery has slowed, with the past week yielding some 120,000 fish. The year-to-date keta numbers are about one third lower than 2017 and 13 percent below the five-year average, Evridge wrote.

Year-to-date coho harvests are 33 percent lower than a year ago, with only two more weeks of production remaining. Few Chinooks have been caught in recent weeks, and year-to-date production is now seven percent lower than a year ago. In sockeye fisheries, the last week’s addition of 113,000 salmon brought the red salmon harvest over the 50 million fish mark.

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