Photos: Chum Spirit

Point Baker gillnetter Mike Mortell, a Juneau-Douglas High School alumnus, over hauls his net at the float plane dock in Harris Harbor on Saturday. The last few seasons Mortell has brought his FV Nordic Spirit from the Prince of Wales fishing grounds to enjoy the Chum (dog) salmon catches near Juneau along with many other communities fishers. Chum markets have been strong the last couple of years and prices have started at 85-cents a pound this season, lower than expected as many thought $1 per pound was in reach. That price could be available when the Chum females show up with eggs. Females’ eggs have become a staple of Russian markets now as caviar brokers have diversified. Male chums have benefitted from the boneless-fillet markets nationally. Fisherman are still catching sockeye, or red salmon, and will flow into the pink (humpy) markets. Pinks paid 45-50 cents per pound last season. Some fishers are still getting nice King (Chinook) salmon in the area. In Southeast the Kings have been big in the Stikine River and South Kupreanof areas this season. The strong Coho (silver) runs will begin arriving in late August and September.


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