Salmon season starts tomorrow!
May 13, 2014
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Salmon season officially starts tomorrow. I’ll tell you more after this –
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Alaska’s 2015 salmon season officially gets underway tomorrow, May 14th. Trollers in Southeast Alaska fish for king salmon nearly all year long, but the official start is when the runs of reds and kings return to Copper River near Cordova. The 500-plus fleet is set for the first 12 hour opener on Thursday amid the usual media hoopla. The harvest at Copper River this year is set at 2.2 million sockeye salmon and a conservative six thousand kings.
In following weeks, various salmon openers will kick off all over Alaska and regional catch forecasts are up across the board. In all, Alaskans are bracing for a huge season – state managers project a harvest of 221 million salmon, 39 percent higher than last year.
Driving the numbers are the big forecasts for both sockeyes and pinks. A whopping 59 million sockeye salmon catch is set to come out of Alaska this summer, a 33% increase and the largest harvest since 1995. The big red Kahuna, of course, is Bristol Bay where a catch of over 38 million sockeyes is likely this summer. That follows on the heels of last year’s big Bay haul of 44 million reds.
For those hard to predict pink salmon, the statewide harvest could top 140 million, a 46 percent increase. At Southeast Alaska, home to the state’s largest wild pink runs, the catch forecast is called ‘excellent’ and pegged at around 58 million fish.
Chum salmon harvests are expected to double this year to more than 17 million, up 52 percent. On the downside, a coho harvest of 4.6 million would be down nearly 2 million from last year.
You can track salmon catches daily during the season via Fish and Game’s Blue Sheet. Find links to the Blue Sheet and the Runs and Harvest Projections for Alaska’s 2015 Salmon Fisheries at our website – www.alaskafishradio.com and on Facebook.
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.