Fish Radio
Salmon, pollock, herring poised for big harvests
November 19, 2014

Pollock fishing aboard the F/V Ocean Hope 3 Credit:

Pollock fishing aboard the F/V Ocean Hope 3

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Some bumper harvests ahead for salmon, pollock and herring.  More after this —

 Fish Radio is brought to you by the At-sea Processors Association. APA  fishing companies donate one million nutritious Alaska pollock meals each year to food banks–in Alaska and nationally–to help fight hunger in America.  Learn more about APA’s Community Catch program at

Federal grants are available to help “Made in America” companies compete with imports and save US jobs. Learn more at


Some big fish predictions are coming in for next year from state and federal managers. For the state’s largest fishery – Alaska pollock – stocks have more than doubled their ten year average to  more than 9 million tons, or 20 billion pounds!  The pollock stocks are healthy and growing, according to the Alaska Fisheries Science Center’s annual assessments. A catch of 1.3 million tons is recommended for next year, or about 3 Billion pounds. Federal managers will set all groundfish harvests in early December. Alaska pollock represents 40% of global whitefish production.

From pollock to pinks – the state is projecting an “”excellent” catch of 58 million pink salmon next year in Southeast Alaska. That would be well above the 10-year average of 41 million, and would rank among the top 10 harvests since 1960. One caution is warmer than normal water temperatures. In 2006 similar warm conditions resulted in a poor pink return to the Southeast region.

It looks like the world’s premier sockeye salmon fishery at Bristol Bay can expect another big year. Fish and Game predicts a run of 54 million reds and a harvest of 38 million fish.     Tim Sands is area manager at Dillingham –

 We haven’t had a forecast this big since probably 1995.

A 38 million sockeye harvest would top this year’s catch by 10 million.  The 2014 run was 53 percent higher than expected and Sands says fish forecasts always are variable and tough to peg. But all the data points to another big run.

Everybody seems pretty optimistic about the return next year.  Everybody’s looking at all the data in different ways, and they’re all coming up with numbers around 50 million, total run. I think that shows that the run is healthy and sustainable.

Also at Bristol Bay, the state’s largest herring fishery at Togiak is expecting a huge haul again next spring at Togiak of  29,012 tons in the sac roe fishery, 4-thousand tons more than this year.
Find links to all Alaska fish catches at

Thanks to the assist from KDLG/Dillingham.


Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, an Alaska corporation proudly supporting Alaska’s coastal communities and the Alaskans who depend on fishing for their livelihoods and culture.    In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.