With the bulk of the sockeye season over, biologists and fishermen have continued to notice smaller than average weight for one of Alaska’s most valuable exports.

Workers statewide from offices of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, or ADFG, noticed an early in-season trend of smaller-than-average fish. Throughout the state’s early season salmon fisheries, particularly sockeye and chum, fish were coming in shorter and lighter for their age.

Alaska’s wild salmon harvests rose to more than 211 million fish through Aug. 18, as the humpy harvest alone climbed to 143.6 million, exceeding the forecast of 140 million pinks.

That was an overall estimated catch increase of 35.7 million fish over the last week, including 33.2 million pink salmon. The preliminary Alaska commercial salmon harvest report is updated daily during the salmon season by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

During a Monday call with reporters, Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan says a Trade Customs Bill could help get more Alaska seafood into foreign markets.

“We’re working on, in that bill, that would dramatically increase market opportunities for our seafood. You know, Alaska is the super power of seafood, we harvest more seafood than the rest of the country combined, and that would go after the highly subsidized fishing fleets of foreign nations. And we’re encouraging the administration, in these trade agreements, to go after unfair subsidies for other fishing fleets.”

Authorities want to talk to a man who donned a fairly realistic bear costume — head and all — and wore it when harassing a bear and two sows trying to feed on pink salmon in an Alaska river.

The incident happened Monday on the Chilkoot River near Haines, said Alaska Fish and Game Assistant Area Management Biologist Mark Sogge.

It wasn’t immediately known what the man was trying to accomplish.

The National Marine Fisheries Service has allocated an additional 1,600 chinook salmon to be used as bycatch for the Gulf of Alaska non-pollock, non-rockfish groundfish trawl fleet.

The year-round Gulf of Alaska non-pollock, non-rockfish fishery had to shut down on May 2, having exceeded its allocation of 2,700 chinook salmon bycatch. Somewhere between 13,000 to 15,000 metric tons of groundfish would have been left in the water in the second part of the season, approximately $4.6 million in ex-vessel value and $11.3 million in first wholesale value.

Prince William Sound is on track to net the second-largest salmon harvest in history, following a record harvest in 2013.

The Prince William Sound commercial pink salmon harvest has surpassed the historical record for this time in the season, with just more than 72 million fish harvested as of Aug. 12, according to Alaska Department of Fish and Game assistant area biologist Tommy Sheridan.

When Anita and Robert Shane quit smoking, they needed something to do with their hands.

The pair lives at the decommissioned Port Bailey cannery on Kodiak Island, which saw 100-plus workers a year during its heyday in the 20th century. The cannery was also the source of their stress and what led them to smoking.

This summer, just as they have done for generations, setnetters are working the shores of the western Kenai Peninsula, stringing out nets and hauling in hundreds of thousands of fish from the abundant sockeye salmon runs of Southcentral Alaska.

Coming up this week, Bristol Bay sockeye may have been late but they're finishing in record territory; the Fish Board took action to protect Togiak fishermen; and buyers are struggling to keep up with the number of chum salmon flooding Norton Sound. All that, and the details behind the long awaited peace treaty over MSC labeling.

A robust forecast, followed by what first appeared to be a season gone bust in Bristol Bay, culminated with a run of wild sockeyes exceeding 50 million reds, and the price to fishermen sank.

"Everybody's concerned with the price," said Dave Harsila, president of the Alaska Independent Fishermen's Marketing Association, and a veteran Bristol Bay harvester. "I don't think anybody expected it to be that low, but that's what it is.