A Surprising Amount of Pink Salmon are Filling Kodiak’s Waters

K.Mueller/USFWS/Flickr

Mitch Borden/KMXT

Kodiak fishermen are having a great pink salmon season compared to last year’s run. There are not only plenty of fish, but the run’s lasting longer than expected.

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There are a lot of pink salmon surging into Kodiak’s rivers right now, which is weird. James Jackson, a biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, says usually the pink salmon run should be about done. Until a recent storm though, commercial fishermen were still catching plenty of fish.

“Before the big blow came in there, we were still harvesting, you know, 700,000 pinks a day. Which is a pretty large amount for this time of year. So it’s been a long protracted run.”

Overall the commercial season’s been average, about 22 million pinks caught so far. But Jackson says, even in a great year the region would only see around 500,000 pinks caught a day in late August.

Borden: “Why do you think this pink season is lasting longer than you guys thought.”

Jackson: “Good Question, nobody knows.”

Borden: “No one has any idea?”

Jackson: “I mean, we could speculate about a lot of things, but it’s best not to speculate.”

The overall harvest has fallen short of predictions. Jackson says, that hasn’t stopped fishermen from being surprised by the amount of salmon they’re seeing.

“It’s also been a boon for most people. Most people thought we were going to have a below average season.”

Which is understandable after last year’s dismal pink salmon season, where only 3.2 million were caught. Jackson says, seeing so many pinks run for so long has been phenomenal.

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