Wild Alaska pink salmon harvest hits 95 million

Wild Alaska salmon commercial harvests surged to over 140 million fish through Aug. 6, with the catch of pink salmon alone climbing to 95,618,000 fish.

In a strong run, with heavy fishing, it is going to be a good year for folks in most commercial fisheries, said Geron Bruce, assistant director of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Division of Commercial Fisheries.

The harvest through Aug. 6 exceeded 140 million fish, including the more than 95 million humpies, 28,323,000 red, 14,428,000 chum, 1,677,000 silver and 296,000 king salmon.

All major pink salmon producing areas were producing well, especially Prince William Sound and Southeast Alaska, Bruce said.

Even the Alaska Peninsula is producing better this year than in several years, and Kodiak is doing well too, he said.

On the five-year average the first week of August and the week following are peak harvest times for pink salmon, and then it drops off pretty rapidly, but how this season will turn out is still anyone's guess. Right now that run of pinks is still building, Bruce said.

Alaska's record run of wild pink salmon was 161 million pinks in 2005.


In Prince William Sound alone, the harvest reached nearly 54 million fish, including more than 48 million humpies, 3.4 million chum, 2.3 million sockeye, 37,000 silver and 10,000 Chinook salmon.

In Southeast Alaska, harvesters had delivered 43.6 million fish to processors, including 34.2 million pink, 7.5 million chum, 1,087,000 silvers, 599,000 sockeye and 219,000 kings.

In the western region, including the Alaska Peninsula, Chignik and Kodiak, processors had received 21.8 million fish, including 12.8 million pink, more than 7 million red, 1.6 million chum, 283,000 silver and 41,000 kings.

Kodiak processors alone had received over 10,000 fish, including 7.4 million pink, 2,041,000 red, 606,000 chum, 43,000 silver and 32,000 Chinook salmon, while on the Alaska Peninsula the harvest reached 8.6 million fish. Those deliveries included 4.9 million pink, 2.7 million red, 882,000 chum, 218,000 silver and 6,000 kings.

Cook Inlet reached a harvest of 3.6 million fish, the bulk of them in Upper Cook Inlet, and delivered a total of 2.7 million red, 488,000 pink, 218,000 chum, 194,000 silver and 5,000 Chinook salmon.

At Chignik, the harvest of nearly 3 million fish included 2.3 million sockeye, 515,000 pink, 141,000 chum, 23,000 silver and 3,000 king salmon.

In the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region, the harvest climbed to 996,000 fish, with deliveries of 894,000 chum, 50,000 sockeye, 42,000 coho, 8,000 pink and 2,000 kings to processors. Leading them all were harvesters on the Lower Yukon, who delivered 458,000 chum and 2,000 silver salmon through Aug. 6.

Margaret Bauman is a reporter for The Cordova Times, where the preceding report first appeared. Contact her at mbauman(at)