Salmon Harvest Over 1M, Escapement Up in Most Systems

Jay Barrett/KMXT

As the calendar turned from June to July on Friday, the Kodiak salmon harvest exceeded the 1-million mark.

Just over 15,000 salmon – mostly chum – were hauled in on July 1st, lifting the all-species season total harvest through Friday to 1,011,005.

Nearly 28,000 salmon were caught on Saturday, nearly 40,000 on Sunday, and 22,000 on Independence Day to bring the total as of last (Monday) night to 1,100,451.

Of those, 852,000 were reds and 215,000 were chum. It’s still early for pinks, with just 30,000 caught so far. Almost 2,500 kings and 556 early silvers have also been netted.

The Cape Igvak and Wide Bay section accounts for more than half the total haul, including 525,000 sockeye. The Duck, Izhut and Kitoi Bays, with 137,000 dogs hauled in, account for more than half the chum harvest so far.

Meanwhile, escapement is up almost across the board over last year. The Chignik River weir has seen nearly a half-million fish go by, more than 50,000 from the same date a year ago, and ahead of any time in the last 10 years. The Karluk sockeye escapement as of Monday is nearly 81,000 – about 15,000 more than last year, and 30,000 more than 2009. It still pales in comparison to 2002 and 2003, when over 400,000 had cleared the weir by the same date.

Dog Salmon Creek, Frazer Lake, Saltery and the Buskin River weir counts are all ahead of last year’s return to-date. Upper Station is trailing the last three years escapement, and while Litnik is behind last year’s count, it is well ahead of its 10-year average.

The weir at the Pasagshak River, which is new this year, has recorded 3,122 sockeye returning.

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