The salmon season is winding down in Kodiak Island waters, but the salmon keep coming in. The catch on September 1st brought the season’s total harvest to 11 million fish.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports nearly 9-million of those are pink salmon, with about a third coming from the Karluk, Northwest Kodiak and Southwest Afognak district, another third from the Duck, Izhut and Kitoi bays, and the rest scattered throughout the Kodiak Management Area.
Sockeye harvest is 1.4-million, with a third coming from the west side.
Almost 700,000 chum salmon have been caught, and over 200,000 silvers, as well. A few kings are still trickling in, with the season total about 12,600.
Escapement numbers through Wednesday show a good return of humpies to the Karluk River. The nearly 1.3-million pinks that have gone past the weir is the third-best in the past decade through September 1st. Almost 46,000 pinks have escaped at Litnik, second only to 2002 to-date in the past 10 years.
Pink return to the Buskin River continues to disappoint, however, with only 11,434 past the weir, by far the lowest to-date in this decade. The previous low through September 1st was 41,554 in 2002. The escapement was as high as 218,000 in 2005, and was nearly 83,000 just last year.
Additional salmon openings were announced today (yesterday) for noon. A 78-hour opening went into effect for the Outer Ayakulik section, the Outer Kukak Bay, Hallo Bay and Big River sections, and the Afognak District, except for the Southwest Afognak and Inner Kitoi Bay sections, which will remain closed. The Duck, Izhut and Outer Kitoi bays remain open until further notice. A 30-hour opening was announced for the Inner Kukak Bay section.
Call fish and game or check their website for full details of openings and closings.