Statewide salmon catches delivered to processors rose from 4.7 million to 7.6 million fish from June 21 through June 27, according to preliminary commercial salmon harvest totals compiled by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
The preliminary count through June 27 included 3.8 million sockeyes, 2.1 million chums, 1.5 million humpies, 125,000 Chinooks, and 6,000 silvers.
In Prince William Sound alone, the harvest went from 1.7 million to 2.3 million fish, with the Copper River drift fleet raises its catch to a total of 653,000 fish, including 637,000 sockeyes, 11,000 kings, and 5,000 chums, but still fewer than 1,000 coho and pink salmon.
Overall average weights of the catch for the Copper River for the first 12 periods was 17.5 pounds for kings, 5.2 pounds for sockeyes, 7.4 pounds for cohos, 6.3 pounds for humpies, and 6.4 pounds for chums, according to ADF&G.
The Bering River harvest stood at 7,965 reds, and 43 kings, while for Eshamy Main Bay, the catch rose just slightly to 150,655 reds and 59 kings. Coghill District rose to a total catch of 70 kings and 34,753 reds, Montague to 50 kings and 945 reds, and Southwestern Prince William Sound still had just 15 kings, but 16,000 sockeyes.
Preliminary harvest figures for each region, as well as the statewide preliminary totals are updated by ADF&G as they become available.
On the Lower Yukon River, famed for its oil-rich chums, the harvest for that period rose from 89,000 to 146,000 fish.
Jack Schultheis, general manager for Kwik’Pak Fisheries, a subsidiary of the Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association, said the run came in a couple of days early, keeping some 200 fishermen busy with the dipnet fishery that begins the season there, so harvesters retain only chum salmon.
By using dipnets, fishermen can release any king salmon heading up the Yukon, so that treaty quotas with Canadians for king salmon can be met.
“We are grateful that the chum run is very healthy and very strong,” Schultheis said.
We are about double where we were a year ago. We have customers from the United Kingdom here right now and they are very happy with it,” he said.
In Bristol Bay, the harvest reached over one million salmon, including 986,000 reds, 79,000 chums, and 6,000 kings, a jump from a total of 217,000 fish harvested overall through June 21. Biggest sockeye catches in the Bay were 478,000 in the Nushgak district, and 369,000 at Egegik. Other red salmon catches in the Bay included 112,000 in the Ugashik district, 22,000 in the Naknek-Kvichak district and 5,000 in the Togiak district.
Kodiak harvesters boosted their total catch to 443,000 fish, including 303,000 sockeyes, 111,000 chums, 26,000 pinks and 3,000 kings, up from a total of 249,000 salmon a week earlier.
For the Alaska Peninsula, deliveries to harvesters reached 2.8 million fish, up from 2.0 million on June 21, including 1.5 million humpies, 1.1 million sockeyes, 178,000 chums and 5,000 Chinooks. Chignik’s catch rose from 358,000 salmon, including 334,000 sockeyes, to 454,000 fish, including 413,000 reds.
Southeast Alaska harvesters brought their total catch to 237,000 fish, up from 124,000 fish a week earlier, including 101,000 chums and 97,000 Chinooks.
In Cook Inlet, processors have now received a total of 80,000 reds and 3,000 kings, a jump of 27,000 reds over the previous week.