Alaska’s salmon catch has blown past predictions and there’s still lots of fishing left to go.
By yesterday nearly 192 million salmon had crossed the Alaska docks, already over a million higher than predicted.
Pinks are the “bread and butter” fish for Alaska salmon harvesters and as hoped, pinks pushed the catch numbers higher. After a slow start, a surge to several regions pushed the humpy harvest towards 128 million, four million higher than the forecast.
Prince William Sound’s pink salmon catch of 58 million is more than double expectations and the third largest ever.
Southeast fishermen had landed over 36 million pinks and managers predict catches could reach 41 million. The forecast called for a take of 28 million.
Kodiak looks likely to reach its goal of 22 million humpies. Alaska Peninsula pink catches topping 13 million also is well above average.
For Alaska sockeyes – the “big money fish” – catches of more than 54 million so far have exceeded expectations by nearly 8 million reds.
Even chum catches had picked up a bit, with most coming from Southeast, Prince William Sound, and the Alaska Peninsula. The chum forecast calls for a total harvest of 15.3 million. The catch by yesterday was 8.5 million.
For Cohos, 1.3 million had been landed, as the silver fishery heads towards its peak in mid-September.
Chinook catches were creeping up to 200,000 fish, mostly from Southeast Alaska. The fleet of over 700 trollers was getting $6.68 a pound for their 11 pounders on average, according to state managers.