Bill Webber of Cordova kisses a first of the season sockeye salmon at the Copper River


A wrap of the 2018 salmon season shows that Alaska fishermen harvested just over 114 million fish ringing in at an estimated $595 million at the docks. That’s down 13 percent from the value of last year’s salmon catch.

Preliminary numbers from the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game give summaries of the catches and prices by every Alaska fishing region.

The reports show that sockeye salmon accounted for nearly 60 percent of the total value and 44 percent of the state’s total harvest. A catch of 50 million sockeyes brought in nearly $350 million to fishermen.

Chums were the second most valuable catch at 21 percent of the total value at $125 million and 18 percent of the statewide catch at just over 20 million fish.

Pinks accounted for 36 percent of the statewide harvest and 12 percent of total value at nearly $70 million.

Coho salmon accounted for about 6 percent of total value at $35.5 million and 3 percent of total harvest at 3.6 million fish.

The Chinook salmon harvest of roughly 235,000 (234,614) was the lowest since limited entry began in 1975.

Salmon prices to fishermen increased across the board this year.

Chinook salmon averaged $5.98 a pound, compared to $5.86 last year. Sockeyes averaged $1.33, up 20 cents. Coho prices at $1.34 increased 15 cents a pound. Pinks averaged 45 cents, an increase of 13 cents, and chum prices at 78 cents were up 12 cents a pound over last season.

The dock prices don’t include post season bonuses and adjustments and the salmon harvests and values will change as fish tickets are finalized.

Fish and Game says forecasts for Alaska’s 2019 salmon season will “roll out in coming weeks.”


                        Nov. 18-20, Seattle