PWS commercial harvest tops 28 M

Pink salmon are prolific in front of Orca Adventure Lodge, where they’re schooling up, and jumping like mad near the beach. These photos taken on the evening of July 30 show frisky pink salmon already changing colors as they return to home waters to spawn. Photo by Cinthia Gibbens-Stimson/The Cordova Times

Processors in Prince William Sound processed in excess of 28 million wild salmon through Aug. 2, up by nearly 5 million fish from a week earlier.

The harvest in the Prince William Sound general seine sector includes 19.7 million humpies, more than 2 million chum, 99,000 red, and 8,000 silvers, for a preliminary total of more than 22 million fish.

In the Coghill District, with a total of 2.7 million salmon, the breakdown was 2.1 million chum, 432,000 pink, 107,000 sockeye and about 1,000 cohos.

Complete preliminary harvest totals are posted daily at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=commercialbyfisherysalmon.bluesheet

Alaska Department of Fish and Game researchers said the preliminary harvest data showed that harvesters had delivered 21.8 million humpies, 5.1 million chum, 1.3 million sockeye, 13,000 kings and 12,000 silver salmon.

Statewide, the sockeye harvest reached 49.5 million fish, while the humpy harvest stood at 44.2 million, followed by 17.2 million chum, 1.4 million silver and 234,000 king salmon.

As the flush harvest of sockeyes continued – including 37.6 million reds in Bristol Bay alone, prices were dropping as low at $5.99 a pound for fresh whole wild sockeyes in Alaska supermarkets.

Harvesters in Bristol Bay were offered a base price of one dollar a pound from processors, and $1.20 a pound base price for chilled fish, which comprise about 60 percent of the Bristol Bay catch. That’s up from 75 cents a pound last year and 50 cents a pound two years ago.

Seattle’s Pike Place Fish Market had fresh wild Alaska sockeye fillets for $19.99 a pound and 10th & M Seafoods had king salmon fillets ready for the freezer for $22.95 a pound.

Harvest for Cook Inlet stood at 2.4 million fish, including 1.7 million sockeyes, 351,000 pink, 274,000 chum, 45,000 silver and 7,000 Chinooks.

Lower Yukon River harvesters have brought in 555,000 fish, while on the Upper Yukon, a harvest of 158,000 fish was reported.

In Southeast Alaska the preliminary total of 17.5 million salmon includes 9.8 million humpies, 6.1 million chum, over one million silver, 328,000 sockeye and 159,000 Chinook salmon.

Westward region processors have received in excess of 24 million fish, including more than 12 million humpies, 8.6 million sockeyes, 3.2 million chum, 277,000 silver and 16,000 king salmon. That includes over 8 million fish delivered at Kodiak, including 5.3 million pinks, 1.3 million sockeyes, 1.4 million red, 62,000 cohos and 5,000 king salmon.

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Margaret Bauman is a veteran Alaska journalist focused on covering fisheries and environmental issues. Bauman has been writing for The Cordova Times since 2010. You can reach her at mbauman@thecordovatimes.com.