Alaska’s salmon catches range from the ridiculous at places like Southeast and Chignik – to the sublime at Bristol Bay.
The statewide harvest by yesterday was nearing 105 million salmon, more than half – 53 million – are sockeyes. Of that, 43 million of the reds are from Bristol Bay, the second largest catch in its history. Most processors have now posted a base price of $1.35 for Bay sockeyes, not including nice bonuses for chilling, bleeding and more.
The statewide pink catch so far has just topped 40 million and chums at 10.1 million. There’s still lots of fishing left to go, but the statewide forecast of 213 million salmon coming out of Alaska this year could be a stretch.
The biggest bust again is at Chignik where under one million salmon have been taken all summer. Next worst is Southeast Alaska with a dismal catch of just over 7 million salmon by yesterday.
Southeast trollers get another shot at 25,000 treaty Chinook salmon starting August 13th in a fishery that is likely to last just two to four days. A total of 57,400 treaty Chinook salmon were harvested by trollers during the first summer opening.
Southeast’s Dungeness crab fishery is ongoing with the catch nearing 3.4 million pounds. A smaller dungy fishery continues around Kodiak. A red king crab fishery is still underway at Norton Sound and golden king crab is ongoing in the Bering Sea.
Alaska longliners have landed 57 percent of their nearly 18 million pound of halibut catch limit with under 8 million left to go. Homer and Kodiak are the top ports for halibut landings so far.
For sablefish, 49 percent of the 26 million pound quota has been taken with about 13 percent left to go. Sitka and Kodiak lead all other ports for landings.
As always, fishing continues for cod, rockfish, flounders, pollock and other whitefish in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. Pollock fishing reopens in the Gulf on August 25.
Finally, in the annual Status of U.S. Fisheries Annual Report to Congress which tracks 479 federally managed stocks, NOAA announced that the vast majority are at sustainable levels and the number of stocks subject to overfishing are near an all time low.