Fishing for chums in Southeast AK
                     Credit: ADF&G


As predicted, Alaska fishermen are getting higher prices for their salmon this year. It’s good news following a season last year that saw lackluster catches and pay checks nearly across the board.

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Price details are somewhat sketchy as buyers watch the strength of the salmon runs to various regions. But early indicators are good.

Bristol Bay started the optimism when Copper River Seafoods in late June posted a price of $1.35 a pound for top quality sockeyes. Bay reds averaged 93 cents last summer.

At Kodiak, sockeye prices are posted at $1.40 for bled and chilled fish, compared to a 96 cents average last year.

Chums, which are arriving in record numbers at parts of the island, were posted at 40 cents a pound for bled and chilled, up from 29 cents. For early Kodiak pinks, a price of 35 cents was on the board, a 20 cent increase from 2016.

Icicle Seafoods at Kodiak’s Larsen Bay has chums at 55 cents for top quality chums and $1.40 for sockeyes.

Troll caught kings from Southeast’s four day July fishery fetched nearly $7 a pound, up two dollars from the average last summer. Trollers have switched to coho salmon and  are averaging $1.40 a pound.

Southeast also is seeing some whopping chum catches and fishermen are fetching 75-80 cents a pound chums compared to just 25 cents last year.

Similar chum prices were reported from Prince William Sound, up from 32 cents.

It’s the demand for roe that’s driving the interest in chums.

Failures of Japan’s local fishery has prices soaring 30 to 40 percent over last year. reports that salted chum roe is selling at Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market for $30 to $35 a pound, the highest prices in 30 years.

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