PWS commercial salmon harvest tops 47M fish

Statewide wild salmon catch climbs to nearly 160M

Prince William Sound’s preliminary commercial salmon harvest rose to an estimated 47.6 million fish this past week, buoyed mainly by increased catches of pink and chum salmon.

Pink salmon deliveries alone rose from 26 million to an estimated nearly 41 million, while the catch of chums reached 4.6 million fish.

The statewide catch meanwhile rose to a preliminary count of nearly 160 million fish, including over 94 million pinks.

Statewide harvests were down year-over-year for four of the state’s five salmon species in the most recent week of harvest data, said Simon Marks, a research analyst for McKinley Research Group LLC in Anchorage, which compiles the weekly in-season salmon updates on behalf of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. However large harvests of pink salmon drew the statewide total closer to the year-to-date benchmark. 

“Through Statistical Week 32 the total harvest was down about 6% from 2022, 2021 for pinks,” Marks said.

The statewide pink salmon harvest, which is likely nearing its peak, has now exceeded 110,000 metric tons, near the estimated weight of the nearly complete 2023 sockeye salmon harvest. The pink salmon harvest is up from last week’s updates because of both Statistical Week 32 harvest and Alaska Department of Fish & Game revisions to Statistical Week 31 data. Most of the pink salmon harvest has come from Prince William Sound and Southeast, and pink salmon harvests are also up in Kodiak, Marks said.


The keta harvest was up 54% year-over-year because of the strength of the harvest in July. However, the keta harvest has been waning over the past three weeks. Early season coho salmon harvests are up 41% year-over-year, but down 16% from the five-year-average harvest.

Across all species, about three-quarters of the statewide pre-season harvest forecast has been caught. The usual peak of the season has not yet arrived for two species: pink and coho salmon, Marks said.

Statewide the central region boasted a preliminary overall season delivery of over 91 million salmon, including over 43 million pink and 43 million sockeyes, and over five million chums.

In Southeast Alaska processors had received in excess of 44 million fish, including 34.3 million pink and 8.4 million chum salmon.

The westward region boasted a catch of nearly 24 million fish, including nearly 17 million pink, five million sockeyes, and 1.6 million chums.

For the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region, the harvest total stood at 136,000 fish, including 129,000 chum, 4,000 pink, and 3,000 cohos, caught in the Norton Sound and Kotzebue areas. No fishing was allowed in the Yukon and Kuskokwim areas, due to low returning runs of salmon.

Retail prices for fresh fillets of wild sockeyes continued to range from $9.99 to $13.99, with some markets offering special sale prices including $7.99 a pound for cohos, with free filleting.