Fish Radio

Salmon updates,

September 9, 2014

 Lamprey poster

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – A good pay day at Bristol Bay and further West. Salmon highlights after this –                 

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Lamprey bites on fish Credit:

Lamprey bites on fish

Alaska’s statewide salmon catch has topped 147 million, with fishing still going on in several regions. Early tallies are coming in for fisheries that have wrapped up and numbers show a nice pay day at Bristol Bay. The total salmon catch of 31 million adds up to a preliminary value of $197 million to fishermen, the second highest ever and 80% above the 20 year average. A bumper run of sockeye was the reason – a catch of nearly 29 million reds was 61 percent higher than expected valued at $193 million.

 In fact, sockeye landings are higher in almost every Alaska region and now stand at nearly 43 million, 45% higher than last year.

 Norton Sound fishermen also were seeing a nice salmon payday. Their chum harvest has been one of the best in 25 years, and the fourth best ever for silvers. With local buyers paying $1-$2 per fish, fishermen should end up with a record $1.5 million season. 120 permits fished at Norton Sound this summer, compared to just 12 in 20012.

 Increased interest from buyers also is the case at Kotzebue where three salmon buyers were taking chums, compared to none a decade ago. Kotz fishermen have delivered $3 million worth of salmon this year, the most since 1981.

 Nearly three hundred fishermen were still out on the water at Prince William Sound and Copper River targeting cohos. Cohos also were a target catch throughout Southeast Alaska where most chum returns were lackluster.

Ditto for pink salmon – catches statewide were pushing 90 million. The lower take will help unload some of the pink pack from last season’s record catch.

Watch on the big salmon run expected at the Fraser River in B.C. shows that catch so far at about five million sockeyes on a run of 21 million. The salmon are fighting dangerously warm waters and attacks by massive swarms of lampreys.

Fall means meeting time – find links to upcoming Board of Fish and North Pacific Council meetings at  – Fish Links


Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, an Alaska corporation proudly supporting Alaska’s coastal communities and the Alaskans who depend on fishing for their livelihoods and culture. In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.