Commercial harvests of wild Alaska salmon more than doubled from July 4 through July 12, with deliveries to processors reaching 9.6 million salmon in Prince William Sound, 20 million in Bristol Bay, and more than 42 million statewide.
In Prince William Sound, the catch of 9,638,000 salmon, up from 3.7 million a week earlier, includes 5,087,000 pinks, 2,906,000 chums, 1,633,000 reds and 12,000 Chinooks.
The Coghill district catch stood at 1.6 million salmon, up from 739,000; the Copper River drift at 1,003,000, up from 887,000; Eshamy district at 650,000, up from 480,000; and Montague at 220,000, up from 178,000.
The Prince William Sound general seine fishery jumped to 3.8 million salmon, from 415,000; and the Prince William Sound hatchery sector at 2,316,000, from 955,000 fish.
The Valdez Fisheries Development Association, whose cost recovery sales program began on June 28, collected 98 percent of the assigned pink salmon revenue goal through July 11, with some 99,000 humpies with an average weight of 4 pounds.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game posts updates at least on a weekly basis on all PWS districts from its office in Cordova.
Cook Inlet harvesters saw their catch rise from 198,000 on July 4 to 950,000 by July 12.
While the run into Bristol Bay is late again, fishermen aboard their drift gillnetters remained optimistic about the classic surge for which the Bay is famous.
Meanwhile, as of July 12, there have been nearly 48,000 deliveries to fishing tenders in the Bay, bringing in 19.4 million sockeyes, 548,492 chums, 26,000 kings, 6,000 humpies and 4 silver salmon. The biggest harvest in the Bay has been in the Nushagak district.
The total Bristol Bay harvest was up from 6.8 million salmon on July 4.
With the run strengthening, several Bristol Bay drift gillnetters, including Robin Samuelsen of Dillingham, were in court instead of fishing, because of minor fishing violations. Samuelsen, former president and chief executive officer of the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp., made a point later, in an interview with public radio station KDLG in Dillingham, of saying the amount of his fine for an improperly marked buoy was minimal compared to the money he lost not harvesting fish during the 12 hour period he was away from his boat in the Nushagak district.
“I probably lost $10,000 being in court today,” he said. “I lost economic opportunity out in the Bay. July 11 is not the time to take fishermen to court. It’s time for fishermen to fish and make money and pay for the court fines. It really hurts to come to court and pay Bristol Bay harvest data and other preliminary commercial harvest figures are updated daily by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
On the Lower Yukon, known for its oil rich chum salmon, deliveries rose from 232,000 to 492,000 salmon, including 405,000 chums and 87,000 humpies.
Southeast Alaska harvests rose from 778,000 to 2.4 million salmon, while on the Alaska Peninsula the catch grew from 5.4 million to 6.7 million fish.
Fishermen on the Alaska Peninsula have now delivered 6.7 million salmon, up from 5.4 million fish, while at Chignik and Kodiak deliveries rose from 704,000 to 859,000 and 6.6 million to 8.6 million salmon respectively.