Fish Radio                                                    Pinks likely to push AK salmon catch over forecast
August 7, 2013                   


AK Pink salmon, male and female

AK Pink salmon, male and female

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Pink salmon catches are coming on strong.  I’ll tell you more after this –

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 Pink catches are exceeding expectations and will likely push Alaska’s total salmon catch over the 179 million fish forecast

 We’ll have to go over the pink forecast forecast to do that because not going to make the sox numbers,  5 million or so short th ere, and we’re probably not going to make the chum salmon numbers either. So we’ll have to go over with pinks, but at the rate things are going that is entirely possible. 2

 Geron Bruce is deputy director of Fish and Game’s commercial fisheries division

The statewide pink salmon catch is nearing 95 million fish. Three major regions provide the bulk of the pink pack:  Southeast, Prince William Sound and Kodiak.  At Southeast, 15 million pinks were taken just last week and Bruce says the region is likely to blow past the 54 million pink forecast.

Next two weeks are typically the peak – so if catches go up and stay at that level, that’s another 30 million pinks. 5

 At Prince William Sound, pink salmon catches had topped 46 million and fishermen were on limits there, reportedly due to a lack of tender capacity

Kodiak’s pink catch had topped 8 million out of a 17 million pink forecast with steady catches coming in.

 In all, state managers were predicting a 118 million pink salmon catch this summer, 73% higher than last year. At a dock price of roughly 45 cents a pound, that will really boost the value of    Alaska’s total salmon fishery this summer.  

 When you’re talking about the volumes in these fisheries,  that really drives up the value rapidly. 12

 Bruce says for the past couple of years, some runs have peaked and waned early, as in the Bristol Bay red run this summer. Pinks could be following that trend.

 If they go up this week and stay up next week we could be up there close to 200 million.

 The all time record pink salmon catch was 161 million in 2005.

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