Run forecasts and harvest projections published this month by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game say that the ADF&G expects a decrease in commercial salmon harvests in 2022.
The total commercial salmon harvest of all species is projected at 160.6 million fish, including 310,000 Chinook salmon, a record 74 million sockeye salmon, 3.6 million coho salmon 67.2 million pink salmon and 15.4 million chum salmon.
Compared to 2021 commercial harvests those projected 2022 commercial harvests are expected to yield 94.2 million fewer pink salmon, 16.9 million more sockeye salmon, 0.8 million more coho salmon and 2.2 million more chum salmon.
The Alaska all-species salmon harvest for 2021 totaled nearly 235.0 million fish, about 44.7 million fish more than the preseason forecast of 190.1 million fish, including 275,500 Chinooks, 57.1 million sockeyes, 2.8 million cohos, 161.4 million humpies and 13.2 million chums.
A notable exception is Southeast Alaska where a joint ADF&G and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration survey and juvenile pink salmon outmigration index is the basis for predicting harvests the following year. During recent decades, Alaska-wide pink salmon returns have tended to be larger during odd years than during adjacent even years, although there is much regional variation to this trend.
The 2021 cumulative Prince William Sound Area commercial common property fishery and hatchery salmon harvest was 70.7 million fish, composed of some 9,000 Chinook, 1.3 million sockeye, 263,000 coho, 66.4 million pink and 2.7 million chum salmon.
The 2021 inshore Bristol Bay sockeye salmon run of 67.7 million fish was the largest total run on record and was 64% above the 41.3 million fish average run for the latest 20-year period.