Salmon Update: Coho harvests mounting in Copper, Bering rivers

PWS humpy harvest tops 48 M

Harvests of coho salmon in Prince William Sound are growing, with preliminary data compiled by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game showing a catch of 171,000 silvers in the Copper River and another 52,000 fish delivered from the Bering River.

Adding in the commercial catch in the Prince William Sound general seine fishery, the Coghill and Eshamy districts brought the preliminary silver salmon harvest total to 326,000 fish through Sept. 13.

The Copper River forecast of 207,000 silvers was expected to be met, said Jeremy Botz, in the Cordova office of ADF&G.

Aerial surveys for coho salmon on the Copper River Delta and in the Bering River District are anticipated to be conducted on a weekly basis as weather permits, through the end of the coho season in early October, state biologists said.

Harvesters were reportedly fetching about $1.50 a pound for the silvers, which were averaging 8.5 pounds each in the Copper River, said Botz.

Harvesters in Prince William Sound have delivered upwards of 48 million pink salmon to processors, up by several million humpies over a couple of weeks earlier, but will below the forecast of about 59 million fish.

The PWS general seine fishery has brought in some 42.6 million pinks, and the PWS hatchery sector another 4.8 million pinks. Also harvested were another 662,000 fish in the Coghill district, 350,000 in the Eshamy district, and 69,000 in the Copper River district.

Those catches brought the overall preliminary commercial salmon harvest for PWS to 55.6 million fish, including 5.4 million chum, 1.4 million sockeye, and 13,000 king salmon.

The preliminary statewide commercial salmon harvest now tops 214 million fish.  The catch includes more than 135 million pink, 52 million sockeye, 22.6 million chum, 4.2 million silver and 246,000 Chinook salmon.

In Alaska’s westward region, the catch rose to over 67 million salmon, including in excess of 52 million pink, 10 million sockeye, 4.4 million chum, 791,000 silver and 19,000 Chinooks.

Kodiak harvesters have delivers more than 31 million fish to processors, including 26.7 million pink, 2.4 million sockeye, 1.9 million chum, 329,000 silver and 6,000 king salmon.  The Alaska Peninsula catch of 29 million salmon includes nearly 20 million pink, 7 million red, 2 million chum, 332,000 silver and 9,000 kins.