Friday, July 15, 2011

Reds retreat, but pinks are coming

Here are some key stats as we enter the middle innings of the 2011 commercial salmon season.

• The total catch, all species, stands at just over 53 million fish, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game reported today. That's about a quarter of the way toward the season forecast of 203 million.

• The Bristol Bay sockeye catch is coming up well short of forecast. The harvest through Thursday stood at 20.4 million reds, with 8.5 million taken in the Naknek-Kvichak District. The run took a nosedive in recent days, and now fishermen are pulling their boats and hopping planes for home. The state had predicted a catch of 28.5 million sockeye. Deckboss hasn't heard anything yet about prices.

• Pink salmon catches are starting to come on. The statewide tally is 16.7 million pinks, with Prince William Sound accounting for most of them. Still a long way to go, obviously, to reach the forecast of 133.5 million.

• Chum salmon catches are mixed, with 5.1 million taken so far statewide on a forecast of 19.5 million. Chum runs are ranging from horrible at the Hidden Falls Hatchery near Sitka to excellent way up in Norton Sound.


Anonymous said...

Chum salmon runs in Norton Sound are excellent if you consider a commercial catch of 73,089 excellent and overlook the fact that the Nome Subdistrict remains closed to commercial fishing as it has been for 21 years.

In other non-excellent salmon news from Norton Sound the red , pink and king salmon runs are a bust. 2,892 reds in the Pilgrim and 1,464 in the Sinuk with subsistence harvesting closed and no commercial season again this year.

Sixteen kings made it through the weir on the Pilgrim River but the crazy thing is that there have been two years in the last nine that saw even lower escapements.

Apparently, no pinks have gotten past the Pilgrim River weir as of July 15, and three pinks past the Eldorado River weir. Nobody saw this coming. Norton Sound pink salmon are a mystery.

So, yeah, excellent salmon runs in Norton Sound I you didn't expect much.

Anonymous said...

Is that you again Tim?