The Kodiak commercial salmon season got off to a disappointing start. James Jackson, Kodiak’s area biologist for commercial fisheries, says the early run of sockeyes was the worst in 43 years.
“The harvest is as bad as it gets,” Jackson said. “But we did achieve our escapement goals, so there’s hope for the future.”
So far, the harvest is under 500-thousand fish, less than half of the 10-year average of about 1.1 million fish.
The pink salmon run for even-numbered years is a different story. It already appears to be outperforming the pre-season forecast.
Jackson says the average for an even-year pink run is about 13 million salmon.
“And right now, based on the first two pink salmon openings, it looks like the harvest and escapement – and we just flew our first aerial surveys – is tracking slightly above average.”
Jackson says the trend for pinks looks very promising, when you look back at the last two even-year seasons, 2016 and 2018, which were really poor years.
Fishermen have another opener that started at noon on Monday.
The pinks may turn out to be the only bright spot this summer. Jackson says the early catch and escapement numbers for chum salmon are weak. The chum fishery runs through August.