Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game statisticians say the 2021 salmon harvest, which now tops 125 million fish, has exceeded five-year averages for a fourth consecutive time driven by strong pink salmon harvests.
The cumulative statewide salmon harvest is now 12% above the same point in 2020 using 2019 for pinks, said Dan Lesh, who produces the in-season commercial update for McKinley Research Group in Anchorage on behalf of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.
With the salmon season more than half over, a clearer picture of the total end-of-season harvest should come into focus in the next week or two, Lesh said.
The biggest remaining unknown is the timing and magnitude of peak pink salmon harvests.
According to Lesh, the biggest remaining unknown is the timing and magnitude of peak humpy harvests. Typically the harvest tops out on statistical week 33, the week this update from Lesh is distributed. The pink salmon harvest has already surpassed 50% of the preseason projection of 124 million fish, despite a slow start to the year.
Total year-to-date salmon harvests are now up over 2020, (again using 2019 for pinks) in Southeast, at plus 44%, Prince William Sound +101%, and Cook Inlet +27% .
As of Aug. 10, the preliminary commercial salmon harvest stood at 125 million fish, including 66 million pinks, 52.2 million sockeyes, 6.2 million chum, 796,000 coho and 174,000 kings.
For Bristol Bay alone the catch in Bristol Bay was over 40 million fish.
In Alaska’s Central Region, harvesters delivered 82.4 million fish, including 43 million sockeyes and 36 million pinks. In Prince William Sound itself, the catch included 35 million pinks, 2.5 million chums and 1.3 million sockeyes, plus 15,000 cohos and 7,000 kings.
In the westward region, deliveries to processors totaled nearly 20 million fish, including 9.7 million pinks, 8.6 million sockeyes, 1.3 million chums 145,000 cohos and 16,000 kings, according to Dept. of Fish & Game data.