Statewide commercial salmon harvest hits 48 M

Wild salmon harvests in Prince William Sound rose to nearly 8 million fish through July 11, more than double the 3.1 million fish delivered to processors in the Sound through July 4.

Preliminary data compiled by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game showed that the catch includes some 4 million humpies, nearly 3 million chum, 986,000 red and 13,000 king salmon.

The Prince William Sound general seine harvest alone totaled some 2,989,000 pink, 910,000 chum and 33,000 sockeyes, and the Prince William Sound hatchery had over 1 million pink and 447,000 chum salmon.

In the Copper River drift fishery, harvesters have brought in some 482,000 red, 13,000 king, 11,000 chum and 1,000 pink salmon, while in the Eshamy district the harvest stood at 417,000 sockeye, 89,000 chum and 23,000 humpies.

The biggest catch of chum salmon in Prince William Sound – 1.5 million fish –  was in the Coghill district. The harvest there also included some 51,000 red and 42,000 pink salmon.

The statewide harvest swelled to some 48 million fish, with 31 million sockeye, 8.4 million chum, 7.6 million pink 198,000 silver and 193,000 king salmon.

As the harvest swelled, prices eased off in retail markets.

10th & M Seafoods in Anchorage was offering fresh wild king salmon fillets at $22.95 a pound. Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle had Copper River sockeye fillets for $23.99 a pound, and whole Copper River sockeyes for $67.45 per fish.

The Anchorage seafood restaurant Orso featured three wild Alaska salmon entrees, including an Alaskan king salmon fillet grilled with asparagus, roasted fingerling potatoes, pesto and grape tomatoes for $34.95; an Alaskan sockeye fillet with asparagus, carrots, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, basil, pesto, garlic butter and lemon, for $28.95, and grilled Alaskan sockeye Nicoise, with parsley lime aioli, tomato, basil, fingerling potatoes, hard boiled egg and chilled asparagus, also for $28.95.

The online retailer FishEx in Anchorage was advertising fresh Copper River sockeye fillets for $29.95 a pound.

The biggest catch of sockeyes to date is in Bristol Bay, where 24 million reds have been delivered to processors, along with 1.2 million chum, 31,000 Chinook and 5,000 pink salmon.

The Nushagak district total of 10.7 million fish caught through July 11 included 9.6 million red, over 1 million chum, 29,000 king and 1,000 pink salmon. Egegik fishermen meanwhile delivered upwards of 8 million sockeyes, the Naknek-Kivchak 4.2 million sockeyes, and the Ugashik district 2.2 million reds. Processors at Togiak have received some 280,000 salmon, including 179,000 red, 95,000 chum, 4,000 humpies and 2,000 kings.

In Cook Inlet, processors have received 777,000 salmon, including 671,000 red, 61,000 chum, 40,000 pink, 3,000 king and 2,000 silvers.

In the westward region, the harvest in the Alaska Peninsula has reached 6.8 million fish, with a total of 4.3 million red, 1.8 million humpies, 664,000 chum, 7,000 Chinook and 2,000 cohos.

Kodiak processors had 9.4 million salmon, of which 5.7 million were sockeyes, 2.4 million were pink, 1.3 million chum, 14,000 coho and 12,000 Chinook. The Chignik catch of over one million fish boasted 569,000 red, 324,000 pink, 159,000 chum, 2,000 king and some 1,000 silver salmon.

Southeast Alaska’s catch stood at over 4 million fish, including 2.5 million chum, 1.1 million pink, 182,000 silver, 134,000 king, and 123,000 red salmon.

On the Lower Yukon River, the catch of keta salmon rose to 331,000 fish, and another 66,000 were delivered on the Upper Yukon, while in Norton Sound the catch of 78,000 salmon included 63,000 chum and 15,000 humpies.