August 13, 2018 - The Alaska statewide species total harvest reached 87.7 million salmon last week, down 45 percent year-to-year from 158 million salmon this time in 2017 - this is primarily due to pink salmon bumper harvests on odd-numbered years...
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2018 Alaska Salmon Commercial Harvest Counter
(Harvest in thousands of fish)
Updated: MON AUG 13 2018 7:46AM (View Previous Weeks Totals)
Of that total, 48.2 million sockeye salmon were harvested - 87 percent came from the Bristol Bay Area in the Central Alaska Region.
This time last year, the statewide sockeye harvest was 52.3 million salmon so although Bristol did well this year, it is still down from last year.
As for prices, headed and gutted pricing ex Seattle cold storage has been volatile, with offers varying between 15 and 55 cents.
2-4lb headed and gutted Sockeye salmon pricing is up roughly 50 cents per pound year-to-year, about 15 percent over 2017 prices during the summer.
4-6s are also stronger this year, up about 25 to 40 cents per pound year-to-year.
The harvest forecast from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game was 37.6 million fish, so although Bristol did come in stronger than anticipated, processors are keeping quiet about inventory holding, which is fairly common during a year that the Fraser River opens.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans opened the Fraser river for 24 hours last Wednesday, for the first time since 2014.
About 20 million Sockeye were harvested in the Fraser River in 2014, and between 8 and 23 million were forecasted to be caught this year.
Scientists have expressed concerns about the water temperatures for the migrating salmon, last Monday the water temperature was 20.3 degrees Celsius, about 2.3 degrees above average for this time of the year.
Despite the conditions, initial reports from the Wednesday opening was firm, quality Sockeye and in abundance.
It's too soon to speculate pricing on Canadian Sockeye, but we do know that the Canadian fishery could put downward pressure on Alaskan Sockeye this year.
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