Friday, August 26, 2011

Coming up short on salmon

The statewide commercial salmon catch, all species, now stands at about 161 million fish, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports.

That's a big total. But clearly, with September just around the corner, we won't reach the preseason forecast of 203 million.

One reason appears to be a shortfall of pink salmon, particularly in Prince William Sound. Returns to Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corp. hatcheries have been weaker than expected.

Here are a few salmon highlights from around the state:

• In Southeast, purse seiners have bagged 51.2 million pinks, 2.4 million chums, 500,000 sockeye and 300,000 coho. "From this year's combination of good returns, above average pink salmon weights and strong prices, the ex-vessel value of the purse seine fishery this season has now reached $100 million," Fish and Game says.

• Upper Cook Inlet's harvest of 5.1 million sockeye ranks as the area's fifth largest ever.

• Kodiak fishermen have harvested 15.5 million pink salmon, fewer than expected for this date.


Anonymous said...

Lucky for the Southeast, they have a pink salmon hatchery to supplement their returns especially for their esteemed commercial fishermen. Rainy, wet weather hampered the Western Alaska subsistence users efforts to process food for the winter. Maybe they can donate canned pink salmon to the food banks for the poor.

Anonymous said...

The Kodiak total must include cost recovery, because it is bad here.

Anonymous said...

There is no big pink salmon hatchery in SE. That catch number is over 99%
wild stock. Get your facts straight.

Anonymous said...

Pink salmon hatcheries in SE - not really.

The Sheldon jackson college used to do pink salmon for education purposes but it was a small amount. Not sure with the college closed if they do it anymore. Other than that there is not pink salmon hatcheries like PWS.

Good memories working at that hatchery while getting my biology degree.

Anonymous said...

Armstrong Keta produces an average of 2 million pinks a year

About a million are harvested annually in common property

So about 98% wild

On average

Sometimes 99

Sometimes as low as 95% wild

Anonymous said...

A million hatchery pink salmon caught in SE common property fisheries might seem a little more significant when you compare that number with the paltry 7,119 pinks Norton Sound commercial fishermen harvested this year.

Norton Sound salmon fishermen have been scratch fishing for 30 years and ADF&G is still dead set against hatchery production here.

ADF&G relies on the count fish and wish there were more salmon production model for Norton Sound.

It hasn't been working very well.

Anonymous said...

Is that you, Tim?