It came as no surprise when the first price postings last week tanked for Bristol Bay sockeye salmon to $1.20 per pound, with an extra 15 cents for chilled fish. That compares to a base price of $1.50 a pound last year.
The Bristol Bay catch topped 28 million reds by Friday, 11 million more than projected, and the fish were still coming. (Alaska’s total sockeye salmon catch as of July 18 was more than 37 million and counting.)
With recent culinary trends pointing to a heightened interest in domestic seafood sources, it’s worth noting that Alaska’s pristine Prince William Sound, home to more than 570 drift and set gillnet permit holders, is one of our country’s premier yet best kept secrets when it comes seafood resources.
An advance sockeye price of $1.20 a pound has been posted at Bristol Bay by Alaska General Seafoods, with an extra 15 cents for chilled fish. Other processors are likely to match, according to reports from the Alaska Independent Fishermen’s Marketing Association. That compares to a base price of $1.50 a pound for Bristol Bay reds last year. The Bay catch yesterday was approaching 28 million sockeyes, 11 million more than forecasted and the fish are still coming.
Sockeye catches through the Port Moller Test Fishery dropped off a bit on Wednesday compared to the huge catches recorded on Tuesday. 136-sockeye were caught on Wednesday. The catch at station 2 was 32-sockeye. That’s the largest daily catch of the season at that station.
This weekend, 15 delegates from Russia, Canada and Alaska will travel to the villages of St. Mary’s and Kaltag, with stops in Anchorage and Fairbanks, in an effort to exchange information about the shared salmon resource.
The ongoing Port Moller Test Fishery continues to record sockeye headed to Bristol Bay. Another 193 sockeye were caught on Sunday. The catch at station 2 was just 2 fish but the catch increased up to 26 sockeye at station 4. The catch at station 6 was 46 sockeye and the catch at station 8 was 63 fish. The catch at station 10 was 56-sockeye.
Catches appear to be tailing off at the Port Moller Test Fishery but there appears to be a sizable tail left to this year’s sockeye run. This has led to an updated in-season total run forecast of 38-million sockeye.
Monday was another big day for sockeye escapement to the Wood and Nushagak Rivers as both rivers have either met or exceeded their escapement goals. The upper end of the escapement goal for the Wood River is 1.5-million sockeye and Monday’s escapement of 158.5-thousand fish put the season total at over 1.7-million. That means that the Wood River is officially over-escaping.
A judge ruled Wednesday that a commercial fishing group should pay part of the State's cost for the lawsuit regarding management of the Cook Inlet salmon fisheries in 2013.
Alaska Superior Court Judge Andrew Guidi issued an order asking Cook Inlet Fisherman's Fund to pay the state Department of Law $12,924. That amount was 20 percent of what the state spent defending itself in the fisheries management lawsuit, according to a Department of Law memo filed with the court June 18.
Abundant fishing time is in the future for commercial fishermen in the Nushagak District. That’s because of the strong push of sockeye through the District and into 2 of the Districts 3 rivers on Wednesday and Thursday. KDLG’s Mike Mason has the details.
Peak harvests may be over for the Copper River District, but that run is way ahead of the forecast, and the catch just keeps on growing for major fishing districts within and for Prince William Sound overall.
As of June 24, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's preliminary Alaska commercial salmon harvest blue sheet showed 2,926 salmon of all species taken in Prince William Sound, including 2.1 million sockeye, 561,000 chum, 198,000 pink, 15,000 coho and 10,000 king salmon.
Tuesday was the first big day of the season for the harvest of sockeye in Bristol Bay. Over 307.7-thousand sockeye were caught commercially to push the season total up to 664.7-thousand fish. Leading the way so far this season is the Naknek-Kvichak District where fishermen caught 250-thousand sockeye on Tuesday to push the District total up to 404.6-thousand. There was no harvest Tuesday in the Egegik District so the District total remains unchanged at 189.5-thousand fish. Tuesday’s harvest in the Nushagak District was 53-thousand sockeye to push the season total up to 59.7-thousand fish.
Despite the name, don't confuse the Pinbone Wizard with the classic The Who song about a pinball phenom.
Although, once you see the machine in action, quickly and efficiently pulling tiny pin bones out of a salmon filet without wrecking the meat, it's hard not to walk away with the descending chord progression of the classic rock 'n roll song stuck in your head.
Commercial fishermen across Bristol Bay are waiting on fish and fishing time as the sockeye run appears to be building slowly. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s run summary for Sunday does not note any commercial harvest on Sunday despite the fact that there were setnet openings in the Ugashik District and the Igushik Section of the Nushagak District. In those 2 areas Fish and Game is precluded from reporting the harvest information because of the confidentially restrictions when there are less than 3 processors buying fish.