State fisheries biologists are forecasting a big increase in Alaska’s 2021 commercial harvest of salmon harvests totaling over 190 million fish, including 269,000 Chinook, 46.6 million sockeye, 3.8 million coho, 124.2 million pink and 15.3 million chums.
When compared to the 2020 commercial harvests, the projected upcoming commercial harvest would include 63.5 million more humpies, 203,000 more reds, 1.4 more coho and 6.7 million more chums.
With the exception of Southeast Alaska, pink salmon forecasts are generally based on average returned from previous brood years, but forecasters caution that there is always a great deal of uncertainty in predicting pink salmon returns.
Also, with the exception of Southeast Alaska Chinook salmon fisheries and the South Peninsula June fisheries, Alaska salmon management will be based on in-season estimates of salmon run strength, since the primary goal is to maintain spawning population sizes.
The projection breakdown includes a forecast harvest of nearly 36 million salmon in the Bristol Bay fishery, including 34.6 million sockeyes, 1.2 million chum, 137,000 coho, 31,000 chinook and 9,000 humpies.
For the westward region, the forecast harvest is over 48 million fish, including 38 million pinks, 6.9 million sockeyes, 2.1 million chums, 887,000 coho and 32,000 Chinook salmon.
Kodiak’s forecast is for over 25 million fish, including 14 million wild and 11 million hatchery fish. The anticipated pink salmon harvest alone is predicted to include 11.6 million wild and nearly 11 million hatchery pinks.
For Southeast Alaska, the forecast is for a total harvest of over 40 million fish, including 31 million in natural production and 8.9 million of hatchery production, with the largest harvest being 28 million natural production and 288,000 hatchery humpies.
For Prince William Sound, the forecast includes over 50 million pink salmon of which 37.5 million would be hatchery production and over 17 million wild fish., plus 1.2 million hatchery and 842,000 sockeyes, nearly two million hatchery and 308,000 wild chum, 323,000 wild and 193,000 hatchery coho and some 8,000 Chinooks.