Over 97 million salmon were harvested by Alaska fishermen as of Monday – half of the fish are sockeyes from Bristol Bay. Fishing there is winding down after one of the best seasons ever with a whopping catch of 43 million reds.
Icicle Seafoods is the only buyer to post a base Bristol Bay price so far – $1.35, up from the average $1.26 last year.
KDLG in Dillingham reports this week that Icicle is paying 15 cent bonuses for iced or RSW fish for both drift and setnetters, plus 8 cents more for chilled/bled, and a five cent premium for floated fish. All told, that’s $1.63 per pound for sockeyes at Bristol Bay.
Other highs and lows: Kodiak is seeing good pink salmon catches topping seven million so far. The Alaska Peninsula’s pink catch exceeded 11 million, a 250% increase from 2017.
For the third year pinks also are plugging nets at Norton Sound.
Cook Inlet pink salmon catches were down by about 25 percent but they are picking up steam at Prince William Sound at more than 11 million.
Prince William Sound also continues to be the only bright spot for chum catches at five million so far, while all other regions are way behind last year’s pace.
Statewide, the chum catch is approaching 10 million fish out of a forecast calling for 29-million, a record
Chignik has yet to see an opener and the two year fishing bust has that community scared for its future.
Salmon fishing also is in the red at Southeast Alaska across the board. Region wide, a catch of 18 million pinks and chums was projected for both. By yesterday, the pink salmon catch had topped 2.2 million and for chums, about 1.5 million.
Managers believe high water temperatures has likely disrupted the fish migration patterns.
There’s lots of fishing left to go and Alaska fishermen will now plug away at hitting the 213 million salmon catch forecast.
Thanks to the assist from ASMI”s weekly salmon update.