Thursday, July 31, 2008

Alaskan fisheries

Some Alaskan numbers for general comparison to our Skeena fishery:
-Fishery managers projected a 132 million salmon harvest for 2007, but catches totaled just 66 million fish in late July, past the midpoint of the season.
-The story was different at Bristol Bay, home to the world's largest sockeye salmon runs. Fishermen were poised to catch 31 million reds there this summer, but when the run arrived late and all at once, processing capacity was overwhelmed. When the catch reached 2.6 million fish in a single day, fishermen were put on strict trip limits or told to stop fishing altogether.
-The statewide pink salmon catch so far has topped 18 million fish. The projected harvest of 66 million pinks is down by more than half from last year, and would be the lowest catch since 1992.
-The statewide chum harvest so far is 11 million out of 19 million fish forecast.
-The cold weather, scratchy catches and skyrocketing fuel prices resulted in fewer salmon fishermen out on the water this year. Just 60 seiners are participating at Kodiak, for example, compared with 141 last year.

And we have seen southeast Alaskan fish catch numbers down through the Nass Update series of posts.
Mind boggling numbers involved with AK fisheries...the quote about catching 2.6 million sockeye in a single day is amazing. For comparison, our Skeena total run is estimated close to 2.6 to 2.8 million fish..and AK caught that in a single days fishing...wonder what the bycatch was??
Info kindly reproduced with permission from reporter Laine Welch

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