Alaska’s Salmon Harvest Nears 48 Million Fish

Preliminary harvest data show the catch in Alaska’s wild salmon fisheries is nearing the 48 million fish mark.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s (ASF&G) count includes 31.6 million sockeyes, 8.4 million chums, 7.6 million pinks, 198,000 silvers and 193,000 Chinook salmon.

More than 25 million of those sockeyes were caught in the Bristol Bay fishery, including 9.6 million in the Nushagak district, 8 million in the Egegik district, in excess of 4 million in the Naknek-Kvichak district and 2.2 million in the Ugashik district.

State fisheries biologist Tim Sands, Dillingham, Alaska, described the sockeye fishery in the Nushagak district as “gangbusters,” as fishermen there brought in a record 1.2 million salmon on July 3. It was the second time this year, and in the history of the Nushagak district, that the daily sockeye salmon harvest exceeded one million reds, Sands said.

Processors on the Lower Yukon have taken deliver of some 331,000 oil rich keta salmon, and another 66,000 keta salmon were caught on the Upper Yukon.

Processors in Prince William Sound have received 7.9 million fish, including 482,000 Copper River reds and another 417,000 sockeyes from the Eshamy District, 51,000 from the Coghill District, 33,000 from the PWS general seine fishery, 2,000 from the Bering River drift and 1,000 from the Unakwik District drift fisheries.

PWS also had 2.9 million chums, nearly 4 million pinks and 13,000 king salmon.

Cook Inlet harvesters have brought in some 777,000 fish, including 671,000 reds, 61,000 chums, 40,000 pinks, 3,000 kings and 2,000 silver salmon.

Harvesters in the Western region have an overall catch of 9.4 million salmon, including 6.7 million in the Alaska Peninsula, 1.5 million more at Kodiak and more than 1 million at Chignik. The breakdown for the Western region was 5.7 million reds, 2.4 million pinks, 1.3 million chums, 12,000 kings and 14,000 coho salmon.