Trolling for salmon is a big business for many fishermen in Southeast Alaska. But this summer was a bit unusual. More effort was put into catching Chum salmon than Coho and fishermen only had one shot at Kings.

After this summer’s one-and-only opening for king salmon, many Southeast commercial trollers have found something else to do, instead of fishing for coho or chums.

SeaShare, the Seattle-based non-profit dedicated to distribution of high quality seafood to food banks nationwide, has received a donation of 450,000 portions of oven ready pollock and hake from the At-Sea Processors Association.

SeaShare’s Mary Harmon said Aug. 25 that the APA rallied once again to generate its annual donation of the lightly breaded four-ounce portions.

Deliveries of wild Alaska salmon to processors reached nearly 236 million fish as of Aug. 25, exceeding the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s forecast by more than 15 million fish, and the pink salmon forecast alone by upwards of 26 million fish.

The humpy harvest alone stood at 166.6 million fish. Processors had also received some 503,000 kings, 13.7 million chums, 2.4 million silvers and 52.6 million reds.

Southeast Alaska’s commercial pink salmon catch has reached 25 million fish by the third week in August. That’s well short of the pre-season forecast and nowhere near the record setting run from two years ago.

While pink returns elsewhere in the state have been strong, Southeast pink numbers this summer have fishery managers scratching their heads.

Chinook salmon continue to swim up the Yukon River, the latest indication that the long ailing run may have turned a corner toward recovery.

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.”