Showing posts with label 2012 season. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2012 season. Show all posts

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cook Inlet's feast and famine

At least the drifters had fun. Deckboss photo

Upper Cook Inlet yielded a lucrative 2012 salmon season, despite dreadful Chinook returns that shut down setnetters.

The commercial catch of nearly 4 million salmon ranked as the ninth largest in 20 years, and the estimated $34.2 million payout to fishermen was the 11th best since 1960.

That's according to this season summary from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Sockeye salmon account for most of the fishery value.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Bristol Bay — Alaska's salmon MVP

This year's catch of nearly 20.6 million sockeye at Bristol Bay paid fishermen $117.8 million, says this season summary from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Oh well, better luck next year

The latest statewide tally of Alaska's commercial salmon catch is out, and we now stand at just over 118.5 million fish.

Given that we're a week into September and many fisheries are done, it's likely we won't make the harvest forecast of 132 million.

On a brighter note, it seems that prices have been pretty good this year. Anyone disagree?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Salmon season update

Alaska's commercial salmon catch is now well above 100 million fish.

The little pink salmon is the big story at this point in the season. Pinks are the most abundant kind of salmon, and seiners are really hauling them in.

Of the 107 million salmon of all species taken so far this season, nearly 55 million are pinks, according to the latest tally from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Sockeye salmon is the second-largest catch at 35 million fish, followed by chum salmon at almost 16 million.

It'll be interesting to see whether the industry can reach the state's preseason harvest forecast of more than 132 million salmon.

Even if it does, it won't be a particularly large salmon harvest this year, as the state has seen a number of seasons with catches exceeding 200 million fish.

Here are a few more salmon items of interest:

• We heard a lot of complaining from Cook Inlet setnetters over the extended closures they endured this season due to poor Chinook salmon returns to the Kenai River. The closures denied the setnetters a shot at their main money fish, sockeye. Well, now have a better understanding of their pain. In a letter to federal officials seeking a fishery disaster declaration for Upper Cook Inlet, Gov. Sean Parnell said the eastside setnet fishery was worth about $1.1 million to fishermen this year, compared to the annual average of $10.9 million.

• Coho, or silver, salmon generally are the latest to arrive each season. In Southeast Alaska, trollers have caught just over 580,000 silvers since July 1, receiving an average price of $1.81 per pound, Fish and Game reports. That price, times the average coho weight of 5.9 pounds, gives you a fish worth better than $10.50 at the dock.

• In the Kodiak area, the catch of 1.9 million sockeye is below average for this date in the season, but pink harvests are improving with 13.9 million taken so far, Fish and Game says.

• At Chignik, much of the seine fleet has quit for the season. It appears to have been a good one, with 1.8 million sockeye taken. A total of 68 permit holders made deliveries, the most in several years.

• Something unusual happened at Bristol Bay this season. Gillnetters in the Nushagak District took 877,000 pink salmon. Normally, the only fish in demand from the bay are its millions of sockeyes.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kotzebue's turn

The 2012 season opens tonight at Kotzebue, Alaska's farthest north commercial salmon fishery.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says it expects a good run of chum salmon, forecasting a harvest of 250,000 to 280,000 fish.

To put that in perspective, the projected chum harvest for entire state this season is 19.1 million fish.

Here's the official announcement on Kotzebue's kickoff.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Salmon season update

Bristol Bay gillnet boats line up to deliver their sockeye salmon catches to tender vessels. Jack Molan photo

We're approaching the halfway mark of the 2012 salmon season. Here are a few highlights from the action thus far:

• The statewide catch as of Friday, all species, totaled more than 22.2 million fish. The state predicts 132.1 million for the season.

• The harvest tally typically doesn't really mount up until the pink salmon hordes show up, and that hasn't happened yet. Only 428,000 pinks have been taken thus far.

• The state's main money fish is sockeye, and some areas are seeing good results. Bristol Bay gillnetters last week enjoyed day after day of big catches, and through Saturday the harvest was 14.9 million, or more than two-thirds of the preseason forecast. Copper River fishermen have taken 1.6 million sockeye — outstanding.

• In Upper Cook Inlet, poor king salmon returns to the Kenai River are hurting sockeye fishermen. The state Department of Fish and Game is closing down setnetters today. The idea is to let Kenai kings pass through.

• In Southeast Alaska, the general summer troll season that opened July 1 closes to retention of king salmon at midnight tonight. That's when the target harvest of 98,135 kings is expected to be reached. Fish and Game says it counted 548 troll vessels during aerial surveys.

• Commercial fishing has begun way up in Norton Sound, but it's a weird year. "The large amount of ice in Norton Sound this winter is thus far resulting in the latest runs of salmon observed in decades," Fish and Game reports.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Salmon time!

Go get 'em day for gillnetters. Deckboss photo

The Copper River fishery opens at 7 a.m. today for a 12-hour period, signifying what many will regard as the official start of a new Alaska salmon season.

Of course, gillnetters and trollers started stalking Chinook salmon at the Stikine and Taku rivers in Southeast on May 7.

But for Copper River connoisseurs, that doesn't count, right?

Anyway, Deckboss wishes the Copper River fleet a safe day and good fishing.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Countdown to a new salmon season

The famed Copper River salmon fishery will open May 17 for a 12-hour period, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today.

Prepare for fabulous, fresh Chinook and sockeye!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Off we go on another long season

Speaking of halibut, the commercial fishery opens at noon tomorrow and runs until Nov. 7.

The overall Pacific halibut quota is 33.54 million pounds.

Alaska accounts for about three-quarters of the quota, with the rest allocated to British Columbia and the U.S. West Coast.

Good fishing, everybody, and be safe.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Smaller salmon harvest expected this year

The Department of Fish and Game is forecasting a 2012 commercial salmon catch of 132.1 million fish.

That would be 25 percent lower than last year's catch of 177.1 million.

The difference is a smaller projected pink salmon catch. Pinks are the smallest and least valuable of Alaska's five commercially harvested salmon species, but the most numerous.