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.”

Kuskokwim River commercial fishermen will have their first chance of summer to make a little cash during openings set for Monday.

These robots are 18 feet tall. Each one has a bright orange wing of carbon fiber sticking up from a floating platform. At sea, they look like oversized windsurfers.

Using the wind for propulsion, and solar panels for their electronics, they’ve been traveling thousands of miles in the Bering Sea all by themselves.

It’s almost like they have minds of their own.

But these robots are working for good, not evil--we think.

The number of chinook salmon entering the Yukon has met minimum targets for the second year in a row.

This year, 57,000 fish have been counted in the Yukon River at Eagle, Alaska, just above the target of 55,000.

Biologists the number is somewhat encouraging, but say the problem of declining chinook has not been solved. This year's number still pales in comparison to average run sizes in the 1990s which measured 150,000 fish.

Silver salmon are running up the Kuskokwim River and managers say the coho at the Bethel Test Fishery will soon be more abundant than chums.

They say it’s too soon to predict the run strength, but they note that the very early data indicate the run is shaping up to be average. But the fishing effort on the silvers may be above average.

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.