Commercial Alaska Salmon Catch Reaches 23M Fish

File photo.
File photo.

Commercial harvester catches in Alaska’s statewide salmon fishery are off to a slow start this season, but have reached in excess of 23 million fish, say officials with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The catch includes over 15 million sockeyes from Bristol Bay, with over eight million sockeyes from the Nushagak District. The Egegik and Naknek-Kvichak districts each also contributed nearly three million red salmon.

Egegik/Ugashik area biologist Aaron Tiernan said while the surge is yet to come, harvesters have been bringing in well over one million salmon a day for the last week. They delivered about 1.6 million fish to processors on July 3, 2.5 million fish July 4, 2.5 million fish on July 5, 1.9 million fish on July 6, and 1.5 million fish on July 7, he said.

Elsewhere in the central district, deliveries to Prince William Sound processors totaled 3.4 million salmon including 1.3 million sockeyes, and Cook Inlet had 175,000 red salmon.

In western Alaska, the Alaska Peninsula has brought in 2.1 million salmon including 1.4 million sockeyes and the Kodiak area had 438,000 salmon including 297,000 chums and 131,000 sockeyes, for a total western region catch of 2.6 million fish.

The catch in Southeast Alaska stands at 1.6 million salmon, of which 1.5 million of those fish are chums.

Copper River sockeye fillets were selling this week for $34.99 a pound at Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, along with whole fresh Copper River sockeyes averaging four pounds for $89.96.

Fresh fillets of Copper River sockeye salmon in Anchorage were $12.95 a pound at Fred Meyer and $37.95 a pound at online retailer FishEx, which also had Copper River king portions for $99.95 a pound.

Other Alaska sockeye salmon were $12.95 a pound at 10th& M Seafoods, also in Anchorage.

Costco and Carrs/Safeway stores in Anchorage had no fresh wild salmon for sale this week.