Alaska Salmon Landings vs Projections Now at 78%, Keta and Coho Lowest Performers
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - August 25, 2020
Alaska’s salmon fleet has landed 104 million fish as of yesterday morning, after a pre-season estimated from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game of 132.6 million salmon, only 78 percent of projected harvest.
Sockeye salmon came in closest to the biologists’ prediction at 93%, with pink salmon not far behind at 86%. Chinook landings were barely above half of what was projected. Keta, or chum salmon, came in at 27% in a season that is mostly over. Coho or silver salmon is currently at 25% of pre-season estimates, but the season is ongoing in the Copper River and elsewhere.
While Bristol Bay’s sockeye run is over with a total caught of 39.25 million, another 220,000 sockeye were landed last week with 90% of the total coming from Kodiak and the AK Peninsula & Aleutian Island region, reports Garrett Evridge of the McDowell Group, in the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Weekly Salmon Harvest Update.
Last week’s addition of about 4.5 million pink salmon pushed the year’s total to over 52.5 million pinks. This brings the current season 35% ahead of 2018, when 40.7 million fish were landed, and 44% ahead of 39 million pink salmon caught in 2016.
About three-quarters of pinks harvested statewide have come from PWS and Kodiak. PWS has achieved only 66% of its harvest projection and Kodiak has exceeded its projection by 55%. Although the Cook Inlet pink harvest has been stronger than 2018, the region lags harvest expectations by about 20%. Southeast has reached 44% of its projected harvest.
The YTD harvest of 5.2 million keta (chum) is an estimated and alarming 12 million fish (69%) behind the 5-year average. Roughly a quarter of the 2020 projected harvest has been reached.
While the coho harvest is about 60% behind the 5-year average, last week’s harvest of nearly 200,000 fish was the strongest weekly harvest of the season. Harvest for coho salmon typically will continue for at least another six weeks.
Statewide Chinook landings, which include landings before May 10, are 188,000 fish. ASMI's Update do not include those Chinook and show summer landings statewide are 35% behind last year. Most of the remaining harvest this year will come from Southeast, currently 14% behind 2019. (An error was identified last week which was causing some regional harvest data in 2019 to be undercounted. With corrected data, the most significant change is that the 2020 Southeast chinook harvest is behind 2019, not ahead.)
Total landings in Alaska as of yesterday morning include 44.9 million sockeye, 52.5 million pink salmon, 5.3 million chum, 1.1 million coho, and 188,000 Chinook, for a total of 104.03 million salmon.
The worst hit area for salmon returns in the state is Chignik, posting 100% below projections across all species, followed by AYK which is 82%-85% below projections for all five species. Next would be Southeast, with landings 70%-73% below projections on sockeye and keta, 29% below on pinks, 48% below so far on coho (fishing is still underway), and 14% below on Chinook. The Prince William Sound, Copper River region is 79% below forecasts of Chinook, 73% below projections so far for coho, 64% below for sockeye, 61% below for keta and 7% below predictions for pinks. Pink landings to date in that region are 20.83 million, just above Kodiak’s 19.34 million.
The pink runs in Kodiak and the Alaska Peninsula were 225% and 411% respectively above landings from 2018 at this time. Cook Inlet also got higher than expected pink landings, totalling 2.7 million, or 63% above 2018’s YTD total.
Hundreds of salmon found dead in Kodiak
Die-offs of salmon before they spawn are becoming more frequent. Here’s why:
KTUU by Cheyenne Mathews - August 25, 2020
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Over the weekend, Kodiak residents began to notice numerous dead pink salmon in a river popular with fishermen. The Buskin River, located near the Kodiak Airport and a short drive from town, is known for its sockeye and silver salmon runs.
Seattle Entrepreneur And Unalaska Businessman To Start Flight Co-op Between Unalaska And Anchorage
KUCB by Hope McKenney - August 25, 2020
The community of Unalaska/Dutch Harbor has been without reliable air service since a fatal plane crash on the island late last year.
Testify Aug. 28 on Board of Fisheries appointments.
Cordova Time by Margaret Bauman - August 25, 2020
Members of the Alaska Senate Resources Committee will hear public testimony on Friday, Aug. 28 on four people whom Gov. Mike Dunleavy has appointed to the Board of Fisheries.
Call for products to compete in Alaska Symphony of Seafood issued
Seafood Source by Ben Fisher - August 25, 2020
The Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF) has issued a call for products for the organization’s 2020-2021 Alaska Symphony of Seafood program.
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