2019 PWS salmon harvest worth nearly $115 M

Statewide catch of 206.9 million fish brought in $657.6 M

Commercial gillnet fishermen on the lower Yukon River. Photo courtesy of Amy Gulick

Preliminary harvest figures compiled by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game put the value of the statewide commercial catch of 206.9 million salmon at $657.6 million, including $114.9 million for the 57.8 million fish caught in Prince William Sound.

State biologists estimated the Prince William Sound harvest to include 18,399 Chinooks, averaging 18.42 pounds each, garnering fishermen an average of $8.59 per pound; the sockeye harvest of 2,553,041 fish averaging 5.23 pounds, were worth $2.49 a pound; and 504,159 coho, averaging 8.01 pounds, earned $1.19 a pound.

Prince William Sound harvesters also delivered 49,340,614 humpies weighing in on average at 3.4 pounds, earning 34 cents a pound; and 5,334,239 chums, on average at 6.91 pounds, that brought fishermen 41 cents a pound.

Statewide overall, the value of the wild salmon harvest was up by 10 percent over the 2018 catch worth $595.2 million, according to preliminary estimates, ADF&G officials said.

Sockeyes accounted for about 64 percent of the total value and 27 percent of the harvest. Pink salmon were the second most valuable species, representing 20 percent of the total ex-vessel value and 62 percent of the harvest. Chum accounted for 10 percent of the value and 9 percent of the harvest, and coho for 5 percent of the value and 2 percent of the harvest.

That cumulative total included 129,063,339 pinks, averaging 3.27 pounds, at 30 cents a pound, for a total ex-vessel value of $128,628,652; 289,473,840 sockeye averaging 5.24 pounds, worth $1.45 a pound, or a total of $421,146,163; and 18,542,599 chum weighing in at 7.07 pounds, and worth 49 cents a pound, for a total value of $63,777,586.

Harvesters also delivered 3,792,585 coho averaging 6.77 pounds, which paid $1.15 a pound, and a total of $29,593,611; and 3,223,234 kings whose average weight was 11.84 pound, bringing $4.48 a pound, for a total of $14,447,722.

The Bristol Bay harvest of 44,458,682 fish, valued at $306,573,301, included 42,967,737 red salmon weighing in on average at 5.20 pounds, fetching $1.35 a pound, for a total of $303,897,039 and 1,379,169 chum averaging 6.50 pounds, for 25 cents a pound, and a total of $2,250,721. Bristol Bay processors also received 30,579 kings, averaging 11.40 pounds, earning 50 cents, for a total of $173,725; 75,517 coho weighing an average of 6 pounds, earning 55 cents a pound, for a total of $250,737; and 5,680 humpies at about 3.80 pounds each, earning a nickel a pound, for a total of $1,079.