From  Fish Factor newspaper column, 10/11/13                                                                  Ak salmon, five species

As expected, Alaska’s 2013 salmon catch is one for the record books. Early tallies by state fishery managers show that fishermen caught 272 million salmon this summer, smashing the previous record of 221 salmon in 2005. The fishery was powered by a whopping catch of 219 million pinks.

In terms of money, the preliminary harvest value of $691 ranks second to the $724 million of 1988, called an “outlier” season by salmon managers. They also predict that once all post season bonuses and price adjustments are determined by salmon processors, the 2013 season could be the most valuable salmon harvest in Alaska’s history.

Some highlights:   For the second year running. Southeast again claims the title for the Alaska region with the highest salmon volumes and overall value.  Fishermen caught more than 100 million salmon for the first time ever, valued at nearly $220 million at the Panhandle docks.

Prince William Sound fishermen ranked second with a catch of 98 million salmon, valued at $162 million. Both Southeast and PWS had their largest pink salmon harvests at just over 91 million and 89.2 million, respectively.

Kodiak was third in terms of salmon catches at nearly 32 million fish, and fourth for value at $62 million.

  Bristol Bay is still home to Alaska’s most valuable salmon fishery, with Bay sockeyes totaling $138 million at the docks this summer.  

Here are the average 2013 statewide salmon prices with comparisons to last year:

Chinook: $5.31 ($4.01 in 2012)

Sockeye: $1.60 ($1.31)

Coho: $1.08 ($1.27)

Pink: $.40 ($.48)

Chum: $.52 ($.76)