Fish Radio
September 6, 2013

Salmon season wrapping up, record catch – record value likely

AK salmon seiner Credit: ASMI

AK salmon seiner
Credit: ASMI

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch … Alaska’s salmon season is winding down. The record catch could also be the most valuable.  More after this –

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Alaska’s 2013 salmon season is pretty much a wrap with record catches being tallied all over the place. The statewide catch has topped 265 million fish – the old record was 222 million in 2005.  It’s pinks that boosted the big harvest  that catch was nearing a mind boggling 214 million fish yesterday.  Some boats are still out on the water, but most fishermen are done for the summer.

Yes, things are slowing down in the three major pink salmon producing areas: Southeast, Prince William Sound and the Westward, Kodiak and the Alaska Peninsula.

 Geron Bruce is Assistant Director for the state commercial fisheries division.

Particularly in Prince William Sound it looks like things are pretty close to being wrapped up, and also the same thing at the Alaska Peninsula, there’s not much catch coming in there now. At Kodiak they are still plugging away but it’s very low numbers – 40-50,000 pinks a day and 20,000 sockeye. Enough to keep a few of the die hards but not big fishing anymore. 

Southeast will see one or two more pink openers.  catches have dropped there, Bruce says, but still larger than in other areas.

Total salmon catches at   the Panhandle and Prince William Sound have topped 100 million, records for both.  The preliminary values for Alaska’s 2013 salmon catch will be out in October. As with the catch, Bruce says the   dockside value should be one for the record books.

 I’m sure it will be a record. It’s just a question of how far into record territory we will be going. 

Alaska’s highest value salmon catch was over $700 million in 1988 but that is considered an outlier result. Bruce predicts the 2013 season is in the running for Number 1.

If you take 1988 out this is going to be right up there. 2011 was nearly $700 million and I think that is the second year to 1988 and this will approach or exceed 2011.  

 

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.

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