Surges of pinks at PWS, chums at Southeast , reds at BBay push the pack
Alaska’s statewide salmon harvest numbers are running 36% higher than at the same time in 2021 (2020 for pinks).
Nearly two-thirds of the projected total of 160.5 million fish have now been caught. As of July 27, the harvest was nearing 105 million salmon.
That includes 95% of the projected sockeye harvest which so far has topped 70.6 million reds.
At Bristol Bay, the record run of 70 million reds has produced a catch of over 58.6 million fish. Sockeye harvests also have been strong compared to last year in most other regions of the state.
At the Alaska Peninsula, sockeye catches totaled nearly 7.7 million; about 1.4 million reds were taken at Kodiak, nearly 1.2 million at Cook Inlet and over 1.5 million sockeye salmon at Prince William Sound.
From now on, chums (keta) and pink salmon will make up the bulk of the remaining harvests.
Pink salmon catches are up 70% compared to the same time in 2020. Nearly 40% of the expected pink harvest of 67.2 million has come in so far with several weeks to go before the traditional peak. The pink catch by yesterday had topped 27 million fish.
Prince William Sound fishermen can take credit for the big pink salmon boost with catches there nearing 23 million humpies.
In contrast, chum and Chinook salmon harvests are down 12% and 14%, respectively. Chum harvests in Southeast have surged due to strong hatchery returns. Chum catches at the Panhandle have topped 2.3 million so far, outnumbered only by Prince William Sound at over 2.6 million.
Coho salmon continue to be well short of expectations, with harvests down 58% year to date, although catches should increase in August. Coho catches so far are at just 212,000 fish. The season projection calls for a harvest of 15.4 million chums.
For Chinook salmon, the total harvest to date is 177,000, nearly all from Southeast, on a projection of 310,000 fish this year.
Salmon information is compiled by McKinley Research Group for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and includes updates from the AK Dept. of Fish and Game daily Blue Sheet.