Sockeyes push the pace of AK’s salmon fishery

AK salmon season picks up with sockeyes still driving the push.

by | July 6, 2022

Filed Under Catch Updates | Forecasts

Bristol Bay, Alaska Peninsula catches are the big drivers

Fishing at Bristol Bay Credit:

Alaska’s salmon harvest is running about 30% ahead of last year at this time (2020 for pinks) harvest, driven by a large, early sockeye harvest in Bristol Bay.

As of July 5, nearly 38 million salmon were harvested across Alaska and nearly 34 million were sockeyes. At Bristol Bay the sockeye catch was approaching 27 million fish. And there is still another week before the peak typically arrives in the region.

“While the industry welcomes large salmon runs, so many fish caught in such a concentrated time window creates challenges for harvesters and processors,” said ASMI’s weekly salmon report.

The sockeye catch at the Alaska Peninsula had topped five million. Just over one million sockeyes were taken at Prince William Sound so far.

Although sockeye harvests have been larger than usual for this time of year, catches are down for chums and Chinook salmon. The chum take so far of nearly 2.7 million have come mostly from PWS. For Chinook, the catch of 74,000 was nearly all from Southeast.

It’s too soon to make a call for pinks and coho as those fisheries typically pick up in August.

Credit: ADF&G

Alaska’s total statewide, all-species salmon harvest for 2022 is projected at 160.6 million fish. That’s down 32% from the 2021 catch of nearly 235 million salmon which had a preliminary dock side value of nearly $644 million.

The breakdown of the 2022 catch is expected to include 310,000 Chinook salmon, 74 million sockeye salmon, 3.6 million coho salmon, 67.2 million pink salmon, and 15.4 million chums.

Find all of the salmon forecasts by species and region in the ADF&G annual report titled Run Forecasts and Harvest Projections for 2022 Alaska Salmon Fisheries and Review of the 2021 Season .

Weekly salmon catch updates are compiled by Sam Friedman at McKinley Research Group for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

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About Laine

Laine Welch has covered the Alaska fish beat for print and radio since 1988. She also has worked “behind the counter” at retail and wholesale seafood companies in Kodiak and on Cape Cod.


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