Preliminary Forecast Predicts Above Average Pink Season in 2017

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game recently released its preliminary 2017 salmon forecasts for the Kodiak Management Area, and it paints a much rosier picture for pink salmon in the new year.

The humpy harvest in 2016 was an unmitigated disaster for Kodiak fishermen, with just 3.25-million fish delivered, on a forecast of 16.2-million. The wild pink salmon harvest, at 2.1-million, was one of the lowest in the past 50-years, according to Fish and Game’s season review. The remainder were hatchery pinks, which also returned in numbers far weaker than expected.

But for 2017, the total harvest, of both wild and hatchery pinks, is far higher. The point estimate is 28.1-million fish, inside a possible range between 15.4- and 40.8-million pink salmon. In the summary to the preliminary forecast, the ranges represent an 80-percent confidence level that the actual run will fall within those two numbers.

The South Alaska Peninsula figures predict a pink run between 11.4- and 19.8-million, an escapement of 4-million and a harvest between 9.7- and 15.8-million.

The sockeye salmon forecast for Region IV is a bit harder to parse, with early and late runs of reds being taken into account, and several different stocks to keep track of.

The total run for the Karluk sockeye salmon stock is projected to be 1,108,000, within a confidence range of 818,000 and 1.4-million. The early run is projected to account for 294,000 of that, and the late run 814,000.

The total Karluk harvest is forecast to be 653,000, with 114,000 during the early reds and 539,000 during the late.

The forecast harvests for the other stocks are as follows: Spiridon: 288,000; Ayakulik: 151,000; Upper Station early run: 60,000; Upper Station late run: 29,000; and Frazer Lake 100,000.

So for the full Alitak District, a total run of 577,000 sockeye is forecast, within a range of 283,000 and 870,000. The escapement is forecast to be 388,000 with a harvest of 189,000.

Chignik’s sockeye forecast calls for a run of 2.2-million, within a range of 775,000 and 3.6-million, an escapement of 738,000 and a harvest of nearly 1.5-million. The Nelson River and the late run at Bear Lake contribute another 427,000 and 294,000 to the harvest estimates, respectively.

The final preseason forecast will be included in the annual statewide salmon forecast when it is released in early 2017.

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