False Pass, AK                  Credit: National Fisherman

Values for some Alaska salmon permits have ticked up while others have tanked. Not surprisingly, the great season at Bristol Bay boosted driftnet permits there.

“Before the season I want to say they were in the mid $170,000s to $178,000 right before the season, and after the season, they jumped up almost $20,000 and there were certainly some sales at $195,000. They never quite hit $200,000.”

                        Nov. 21-23, Seattle

Doug Bowen runs Alaska Boats and Permits at Homer. Rumors are flying that Bristol Bay is set for another good fishery.

“And there’s no doubt if there’s a forecast of another great year in the Bay, those prices will either firm up or go up.”

What’s really raising eyebrows, Bowen says, is permit values for False Pass at Area M.

“We sold one at $235,000 which is amazing – $40,000 more than a Bay permit.”

Lots of people want in at Area M, Bowen says, and not many want out.

Wanting in are fishermen at Cook Inlet where the season was dismal again for several years running. Those permit values have plummeted.

 “They got up as high as $40,000 before the season and we’ve sold a couple of them now at $28,000. And buyers are down around $25 to 26,000.” 

Bowen says many Cook Inlet fishermen hope to head west.

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“If you have a Cook Inlet operation and you have a nice 37, 39 or 42 foot boat, you’re not going to the Bay with it. But you could go down to Area M and so that contributes to the demand for those permits.”   

At Kodiak the seine permit value has increased for the first time in years from $30,000 to $40,000.

At Prince William Sound seine values are lackluster.

“Before the season we sold them at $175,000. And I think there was a recent sale at $177. And we have one listed at $180,000.

Prince William Sound drift permits are listed in the $145,000 to $150,000 range.

At Southeast, where there was a disappointing salmon season overall, values for Southeast drift permits have taken a dip.

“With the preseason optimism there, the Southeast drift was around $90,000 to $92,000. We have one asking $87,000 so an asking price that is lower than what the preseason price sales were. But there is no action there.”


Southeast seine cards are holding at $230,000 but also with little activity.