Total harvest is down slightly from last year’s pace
Alaska’s 2023 salmon season has passed the half-way mark and the total harvest is down slightly from last year’s pace. That’s due mostly to reduced catches of sockeye salmon at Bristol Bay and the Alaska Peninsula.
As of July 28 nearly all of the statewide projected sockeye salmon catch of 48 million fish had been taken. Nearly 39 million of the reds came from Bristol Bay.
Pink salmon harvests were ahead of last year due to strong takes at Prince William Sound which were nearing 24 million humpies so far.
And at Southeast Alaska, state managers are now projecting the Panhandle pink salmon catch to be more than twice the preseason forecast of 19 million fish based on the strength of the early run. They cautioned, however, that “the season is still in the early stage, so this projection could change significantly.” The Southeast pink salmon catch so far was nearing 4.4 million fish.
Alaska’s total pink salmon harvest for the 2023 season is pegged at just over 122 million fish, with just over 31 million taken by July 28.
The chum salmon harvest is tracking ahead of last year’s pace with Southeast Alaska and Prince William Sound again in the lead at nearly five million chums taken at both regions.
The statewide chum salmon harvest was nearing 11 million on a forecast of 16 million fish.
It’s still a bit early for cohos, but catches were starting to pick up speed. Nearing the end of July the catch was at 370-thousand silvers out of a projected catch of nearly three million.
Catches of Chinook salmon were down across the state at just 159-thousand fish. Nearly all of the kings came from the Southeast region.
In total, Alaska’s statewide salmon catch near the end of July was nearing 90 million fish.
State salmon managers are predicting a total 2023 Alaska commercial catch of nearly 190 million fish, a 16% increase from the 163 million salmon taken in 2022.
Keep tabs on Alaska’s daily salmon catches and weekly in season updates for every fishing region at ADF&G’s Blue Sheet. And sign up for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s weekly salmon bulletin at firstname.lastname@example.org.