Harvests of more than 20 million pink salmon this past week, a relatively strong volume for this time of the season, helped boost Alaska’s overall commercial salmon harvest to 184.5 million fish.
Prince William Sound accounted for approximately half of the past week’s catch and sits at two-thirds of its Alaska Department of Fish and Game forecast, said Garrett Evridge of the McDowell Group, who produces weekly salmon harvest reports in season for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. Kodiak had its best weekly pink harvest of the year with approximately six million fish, bringing its year-to-date pink salmon numbers above its forecast of 27 million fish. Southeast Alaska and the Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Islands region could meet their forecasts if fishing is productive over the next two weeks.
Statewide sockeye harvests rose slightly from 54.5 million to 54.9 million, with the catch coming primarily from Chignik, Kodiak and the Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Islands. With nearly 55 million reds harvested year-to-date, the 2019 sockeye harvest is 10 percent ahead of 2018, Evridge noted.
Year-to-date harvests of some 14 million keta salmon represents a 16 percent decline from 2018. Prince William Sound and the Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Islands have exceeded their 2019 forecast, however Southeast has achieved only 20 percent of that region’s anticipated numbers. The Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region is 44 percent behind the 2018 numbers having caught only half of its keta forecast.
With roughly one month of productive fishing remaining, the year-to-date harvest of approximately 2.1 million silvers is 18 percent behind the 2018 pace, with only 43 percent of the forecast being met. While last week saw good numbers in Prince William Sound, Kodiak and Chignik, the catch in Southeast, typically the state’s largest producer of silvers, continues to lag.
The Chinook harvest meanwhile rose from 230,000 fish last week to 248,000.