Fish Radio
February 27, 2013

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch … Alaska is headed for a bigger salmon catch this season. More after this …

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 Alaska salmon managers are projecting a total catch that is just shy of 179 million fish this year, nearly 30 percent higher than last year’s harvest of 127 million salmon.  That was about five million fewer fish than forecasted.  Pushing the higher catch this year is pink salmon, expected to come in at 118 million fish, 73% higher than the 2012 harvest of 68 million humpies. 

 The catch breakdown for other salmon species is 110,000 Chinook in areas outside Southeast Alaska, for the big money fish, sockeye salmon, a harvest of  34.3 million reds is projected, down just one percent from last year.  For coho salmon, a harvest of 3.9 million is just slightly higher, and a chum catch of   22.7 million is an increase of one percent.   

 In terms of total harvests last year,  Southeast Alaska led all other regions  at nearly  37 million salmon, followed by  Prince William Sound at about 35 million.   Bristol Bay placed third with a catch of  just over 22 million salmon. Kodiak placed fourth topping 20 million and Upper Cook Inlet was a distant fifth for salmon catches at about 4 million fish.

 For total salmon value in 2012,   Southeast came out on top for the second year running at  $153.2 million; Bristol Bay ranked second at  $121 million.; and Prince William Sound was third with a total salmon value of   nearly $111 million.

 Bristol Bay led all regions by far for the most lucrative catch – sockeye salmon – with a catch topping 20.5 million, valued at nearly $118 million at the docks. Prince William Sound ranked second for sockeye catches at about  3.7 million valued at nearly $42 million. 

 Find all the salmon projections for this year and a wrap of last season at the ADF&G website under commercial fisheries.  And find a link at Fish Radio on Facebook.

 Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, celebrating 103 years of partnership with Alaska’s coastal communities.  In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.