Alaska chum run
         Credit: Wickersham’


Alaska’s total salmon harvest is nearly half way to the forecast of 204 million, with lots more fishing left to go.

The catch so far is approaching 95 million salmon with sockeyes leading at 48 million. More than 37 million reds are from Bristol Bay – 10 million fish over the preseason forecast.

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The preseason catch forecast was for about 41 million sockeyes. Catches are reportedly dropping off in all regions.

Chum catches are 66 percent ahead of last year’s pace with strong harvests  reported all over the state. Catches have topped 15 million and should easily top the nearly 17 million chum forecast.

Regions at Southeast, Kodiak and Norton Sound are seeing some of their best chum harvests ever.

Coho catches also are ahead of last year by about 20 percent although fishing into September will determine that tally.

The coho forecast calls for a 4.7 million total take this year.

It’s still a somewhat early but managers are feeling a bit anxious about pink salmon arrivals.

The forecast this summer calls for a catch of 142 million humpies. By mid-week pink catches were nearing 30 million with nearly 18 million coming out of Prince William Sound.

Southeast’s humpy total was about six million out of a 43 million forecast and just over two million at Kodiak.

The harvest there is pegged at 28 million, up from a disastrous three million pinks at Kodiak last year. August will tell the tale.

For Chinook salmon, one bright spot is the Yukon which is seeing its biggest returns in more than a decade.

Statewide, king salmon catches are dismal at just 230,000, mostly from Southeast. The catch pace for kings is nearly 30 percent below last year and it’s shaping up to be the worst Chinook harvest since 1975.

Our salmon info comes from Fish and Game and ASMI’s weekly catch update.