The Kodiak area salmon season continues to trudge along, with little sign of picking up.
Through this weekend the all species catch for the season, which opened on June 5th, was just over 508-thousand fish. About 390-thousand of those were sockeye, with another 76-thousand chum and 33-thousand pink salmon being caught. Only 74 coho and about 7-thousand king salmon have been harvested in the commercial fishery so far this year. Alaska Department of Fish and Game Area Management Biologist Jeff Wadle says most of the harvest so far has taken place in the Alitak District on the south end of the island.
(Kodiak Salmon 1 :24s “…variable year for sure.”)
The department had predicted a smaller harvest this season, compared to recent years, which have posted above average catches of red and pink salmon. Still, managers are worried that this year’s salmon runs around the island may be weak or late. The all species total last year at this time was about 655-thousand. Wadle says he hopes things will pick up soon.
(Kodiak Salmon 2 :13s “…open up for a 57-hour period.”)
The slow start to the season has brought with it low effort on the part of fishermen. Wadle says only about 30 seiners have made deliveries so far this season. About 140 or so setnetters have made deliveries, but with the west side being shut down for the past two weeks a good chunk of them haven’t been fishing lately. Prices for sockeye salmon are still averaging more than a dollar per pound.