EP 408 | AIRED 10/15/2018
Chum Salmon Fisheries Open on the West Coast
October 15, 2018 - Last week it looked like there would not be a chum salmon opening on October 10th in the Puget Sound as planned.
According to the Pacific Salmon Treaty, in order for the 7/7A area in the Puget Sound to open, Canada needs a run size estimate of Inside Southern chum at a critical point of 1 million fish....
2018 Alaska Salmon Commercial Harvest Counter
(Harvest in thousands of fish)
Updated: MON OCT 15 2018 2:39PM (View Previous Weeks Totals)
Later that evening on the 10th, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife received confirmation that Canada had upgraded their run estimate to above the million fish threshold, so several commercial fishing areas in the Puget Sound was opened.
1.2 million fall Chum Salmon are forecasted for the Puget Sound, up from 1.05 million in 2017.
The Fishery is not MSC certified, but Puget sound Chum is anticipated to supplement the low inventories of Chum on the West Coast right now.
If the Puget fishery does not do well, this could pressure Alaskan Chum salmon pricing, which is quite strong as fillets are in the range of $4.25 - $4.30/lb.
Summer chum pale meat colour fillet pricing from the Puget sound was between $2.65 and $2.90 per pound last month.
Headed and gutted pricing is stable, with Canadian caught H&G Chum Salmon around $2.10/lb on Good meat colour 6-9s.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced the Johnston Strait test fishery catches improved, allowing for an opening.
This followed an announcement at the end of September citing poor catches in the area below levels in 2010 when the critical threshold was not met.
The Johnstone Strait chum salmon fishery in British Columbia was a bust last year with less than 400,000 fish retained, down from 1.7 million the year prior.
If we see better harvests this year we could see some pricing relief but for now expect chum salmon pricing to remain strong or even increase.
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