Southeast's $203M salmon harvest largest in state

Haul of more than 320 million pounds among biggest of last 30 years

One dollar in three earned in Alaska’s salmon harvest was earned in Southeast Alaska this year.

Southeast was also the most productive region in number of fish and pounds of fish, hauling in 73.5 million fish weighing 324.5 million pounds.

The Alaska Department of Fish & Game has compiled its preliminary estimate of the value of the 2011 Alaska commercial salmon harvest.

Regionally, Southeast Alaska enjoyed the most valuable salmon harvest in the state, worth more than $203 million. Bristol Bay, usually the most valuable salmon fishery in the state, came in second with a harvest worth $137 million. And Prince William Sound took third with a harvest worth $101 million.

Salmon harvests the last two years are among the largest in the last 30 years — $603 million in 2011 and approximately $540 million in 2010.

Alaska fishermen harvested 176 million salmon in 2011, short of pre-season predictions. However, high prices buoyed overall harvest values.

“High prices for all species, especially pink and chum salmon, pushed the value of the harvest to an extraordinary level,” according to Geron Bruce, Division of Commercial Fisheries

For more information visit bit.ly/t2grTf.

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at russell.stigall@juneauempire.com.

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