Commercial harvests in Prince William Sound reached 23.7 million salmon, with the preliminary count on humpies alone at 17.4 million fish.
While that’s nowhere near the forecast of 67 million humpies, it is real close to the five odd year average, says Charlie Russell, seine area management biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game at Cordova.
“It’s still a good season so far, but not close to the forecast,” Russell said.
Could be the season will end up with about 40 million humpies caught in the Sound, but the humpies are running a little late this year and Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corp. fish are just starting to show up, so that could change, he said.
In an announcement issued on July 25 the Cordova office of ADF&G noted that run entry and acquisition of broodstock had slowed in the Solomon Gulch Hatchery near Valdez and that the Valdez Fisheries Development Association recommended a closure within Port Valdez and the Valdez Arm for July 26. VFDA currently estimates there are some 300,000 pink salmon holding within the Solomon Gulch Hatchery
An estimated 1 million pink salmon were harvested in Prince William Sound on July 24, with 214 deliveries reported, of which 380,000 were harvested in the Eastern District and 575,000 in the Southwestern District.
Overall through July 25, processors in Prince William Sound received 23,713,000 salmon. In addition to 17.4 million humpies, the catch included nearly 5 million chum, 1.3 million sockeye, 13,000 Chinook and 6,000 silver salmon.
Statewide, the harvest climbed to over 94 million fish, including nearly 48 million red, 30 million pink, 15 million chum, 229,000 king and 927,000 coho salmon.
In Bristol Bay, the preliminary catch total reached 38.5 million salmon, of which 37 million plus is sockeyes. In Cook Inlet, the 2 million salmon caught to date include 1.6 million reds. Southeast Alaska’s fishermen have brought in over 12 million fish, including 5.9 million pink and over 5 million chum salmon.
Fishermen on the Lower Yukon have brought in 498,000 keta salmon, while on the Upper Yukon, the chum catch is at 150,000 fish.
“The harvest is good, the runs are fantastic,” said Kwik’Pak’s Jack Schultheis. “We’re within the 20 percent of what we did last year. We did a lot more fall fish this year than a year ago.”
The Westward Region fisheries, including the Alaska Peninsula, Aleutian Islands, Chignik and Kodiak, have brought in 16.8 million fish, of which 6.2 million fish, of which 7.8 million are sockeye, 6.2 million are humpies, 2.6 million are chum, 163,000 are silver and 15,000 are kings.
For the Alaska Peninsula, the catch of 10.6 million fish includes nearly 6 million sockeye, 3.3 million pink, 1.2 million chum, 109,000 coho and 9,000 Chinook. Kodiak processors have received 4.6 million fish, including 2.3 million humpies, 1.2 million red, over 1 million chum, 34,000 coho and 4,000 Chinooks. At Chignik, 1.6 million fish have been harvested, including 665,000 red, 643,000 pink, 310,00 chum, 20,000 silver and 2,000 kings.