Commercial catches of Alaska’s wild salmon fishery reached 192.7 million fish this past week.
Some much-needed rain and cooling temperatures helped to boost the pink salmon overall harvest to nearly 120 million fish, still well below the 137.8 million forecast. Meanwhile, the sockeye catch, holding at nearly 55 million fish, exceeded the 41.7 million fish forecast.
The chum harvest of approximately 15 million fish is still well below the predicted 29 million. Harvests of cohos were on the rise, with an overall catch at 2.6 million fish, and expected to go at least through the third week of September in Prince William Sound, unless further restrictions are imposed due to escapement issues. The Chinook harvest, on the other hand, edged up slightly to 252,000 fish.
Costco stores in Anchorage, Alaska, were still selling fresh fillets of sockeye salmon for $9.95 a pound, but also had fresh headed and gutted cohos for $5.99 a pound on sale during the Labor Day holiday weekend.
In Prince William Sound the catch to date includes 46,290,000 pink, 5,318,000 chum, 2,552,000 sockeye, 347,000 coho and 18,000 Chinook salmon. Kodiak processors have received 29,786,000 pink, 1,922,000 red, 505,000 chum, 249,000 coho and 7,000 kings, for a total of more than 32 million fish. On the Alaska Peninsula, the harvest of more than 26 million fish included 20,252,000 pinks, nearly 4 million sockeye, 1,354,000 chum, 510,000 coho and 27,000 kings.
Within the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region, small boat harvesters on the Lower Yukon River have reached an overall catch of 541,000 salmon, including 474,000 keta, 53,000 cohos, 11,000 humpies, and 3,000 kings. At Kotzebue, fishermen have delivered to date 494,000 chum and 3,000 pink salmon. Other small boat fishermen in the Norton Sound region brought in 370,000 fish, including 157,000 chum, 130,000 cohos, 75,000 pink and 7,000 sockeyes.
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