According to a report from the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, this year’s statewide commercial fisheries harvest was the second most valuable on record.
Powered by a huge pink run, the overall catch was valued at $691.1 million, with most fish caught in southeast Alaska.
Commercial Fisheries Director Jeff Regnart said: “Our salmon managers across the state have done an excellent job of ensuring sustainability of our salmon stocks while optimizing fishing opportunity. We had an outstanding year over-all, though some areas returns did not allow for desired harvest levels.”
This year, it was the pinks which boosted the overall totals as the harvest of 219 million pinks was almost double the forecast of 118 million. Fish and Game’s forecast for all salmon species this year was just 178 million.
Sockeye remained the second most valuable fish, with a total commercial value this year of around $284 million. Almost half came from Bristol Bay.
Despite an active drift fishery in the Upper Cook Inlet this year, the Department says the local sockeye salmon harvest was just over half the forecast, since most commercial fishing operations were out of the water for king salmon conservation. Cook Inlet commercial fisheries brought in a little over $43 million.