What a difference a week makes!
Preliminary harvest summaries released today by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game put the commercial catch at 3,130,000 sockeye salmon, 862,000 chums, 55,000 kings, 44,000 pinks and 3,000 cohos, a total of 4,094,000 wild Alaska salmon.
A week earlier the totals were 1,050,000 reds, 694,000 chums, 17,000 kings and fewer than 1,000 each coho and pink salmon, a statewide total of 1,761,000 salmon.
State fisheries officials haven’t said so officially yet, but for some areas of the state, the season is getting a busy one already.
The Copper River harvest through today stood at 1,038,000 reds, 16,000 kings and 11,000 chums, while the Coghill district of Prince William Sound had 661,000 chums and 11,000 reds.
Chignik’s harvest for the past week was 814,000 sockeye salmon, 12,000 chums, plus fewer than 1,000 king salmon.
Fishermen in the South Alaska Peninsula have harvested 542,000 reds, along with 126,000 chums, 41,000 pinks and some 3,000 kings, while on the north side of the peninsula harvesters had 22,000 red salmon.
At Kodiak fishermen have netted 437,000 sockeye and 22,000 chum salmon.
Fisheries economists are predicting a good year price wise too, owing to world markets, the strength of the Japanese yen and the euro against the dollar, and weakness in the still recovering Chilean farmed salmon markets, plus good marketing efforts by the Alaska seafood industry, including the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.