Deckloads during fall fishing? Apparently so! It seems that this year's fall chum salmon run in Puget Sound is off to a great start. While not everyone is getting boat loads of salmon, there are enough chum loads to be impressed. In the past, fall fishing in the sound can be rather slow. However, this year there are quite a few happy salmon fishermen who get a little extra icing on the cake after a banner summer in Alaska. Currently, fishermen are allowed to harvest two days a week until November 24th. These chum are cherished for their roe, which is known as Ikura in the Japanese markets. To get a perspective on the value of the roe, a 500 gram container easily sells for $100 dollars.
Chum salmon have played a huge part in this season’s west coast salmon tally. Commercial Purse seining and gill netting for salmon continues into the end of November in Puget Sound. The price is less than expected at around 80 cents. Typically the late season Puget Sound chum fetch a higher price than the Alaskan varieties. However, this season’s Puget Sound chum salmon is nearly 40 cents less than last season’s average price. Luckily, the run was upgraded this season to 550,000 fish. All in all, it should make for a good pay-day. The average crew share should be about 6000 dollars for about 8 actual days of fishing. Good luck to all the captains and crews in this year’s fishery! Here’s a few pics from my one day season last year in the sound on the F/V Quandary.
It looks like the South Sound chum salmon return is much bigger than forecasted.
A story by the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission reports that a tribal test fishery conducted near Kingston in October and November revealed the run is stronger, which is good news for all fishermen who pursue these late arriving fish.
The preseason forecast in southern Puget Sound was about 200,000 chum, but fisheries managers have updated the run size estimate to 550,000.
To view the story on the South Sound tribal chum salmon test fishery go to the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commisssion website
via South Puget Sound chum salmon return is much larger than anticipated | Reel Time Fishing Northwest | The Seattle Times.
Pacific salmon play a vital part of our worlds ecology. Over 22 different species feed off the bounty of the salmon‘s epic yearly migration. For millions of years, the salmon ruled the pacific ocean and populations flourished thought out the Pacific Rim. Native cultures revered these massive returns as gifts and celebrated each season’s salmon return with art and ceremony. In 1779, Captain James Cook discovered the Columbia River and its salmon bounty while searching for the inside passage. Once the Europeans hit the west coast, large-scale salmon exporting by the Hudson Bay Fishery ramped up. In 1876, the first salmon cannery opened in Astoria and there were 70 more along the coast by the turn of the century.
Salmon production vigorously continued along the coast well in the next century. By the mid 1900’s, it was obvious that the salmon stocks were in serious decline. Mismanagement by the federal government was blamed for most of the problems, then in 1959 Alaska became a state and took control of the fisheries. New management techniques included escapement, which ensured that sufficient numbers of salmon escape capture to ensure the health of future spawning generations. Even with new measures in effect, salmon stocks declined to record lows in 1972. The Limited Entry Act passed in 1973 to regulate the overall number of permits. This system has proved successful in rebuilding the salmon runs to today’s epic standards.
The history of salmon is full of flaws and mistakes, yet the saga of salmon defines the west coast. This majestic fish still dominates Pacific waters and provides the world with one of nature’s greatest proteins. Salmon have survived through all the hardships man has delivered over the years and remains one of natures greatest events. Next time salmon is on your dinner plate, think of the history of a truly amazing fish.
Just about 70 fishermen from all over Alaska have gathered in Juneau for the Young Fishermen Summit. Nearly every fishery is represented here, with gillnetters being the highest volume. Most of the attendees are from Southeast, however Bristol Bay is highly represented as well. The two day event covers many facets of the fishing industry, including fishery management, private marketing and politics. I’ve included some quick video from Bruce Gabry’s talk on record keeping. The images are from the media package included at the summit. Check back for more updates as the day continues. Later today, we will be at the NOAA Headquarters at Lena Point. Stay tuned and post any questions if you are interested.
This massive port is home to over 600 boats, supplies over 10,000 jobs, and contains the majority of the Pacific fishing fleet. Its a world within its self, just nestled across from historic Ballard. The port facilitates nearly every ever fishery from trawlers to trollers. At any time of the year, you could easily wander down and find someone grinding, painting, or mending. This is also a great hub for any hopeful greenhorns who want to make their way to Alaska. The offices for most of the main processors such as Ocean Beauty and Trident are located close by and provide access to many of the factory processing jobs. The added benefit of keeping your boat in fresh water over the winter is a huge draw, but it means you must traverse the Ballard Locks to get back to the sea. Overall, the Fisherman‘s terminal is an icon of America‘s fishing fleet. If your reading this blog, I’m pretty sure you have been there once or twice. If not, it’s worth a stroll.
The event was a massive success this year with the biggest turnout ever. Fisherman could find everything from Xtratufs to hatch covers. Of course there were plenty of marine gadgets, too. AIS is heating up as smaller vessels are adapting the new technology. There were even “booth babes!” The best part of the event was simply networking and meeting new fisherman from different regions and fisheries.
Its my first time at the Pacific Marine Expo. I will be posting live video of some of tHe booths and things that interest me. Hit reload on the player to check for live content. I’ll be posting a photostream from the event as well. Any requests? Just send them to @juneautek on twitter.