It's that time again. Yes, fishing season is arriving quickly and as fisherman organize tackle, untangle monofilament and mend nets, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has done their part to help educate the public on last year's catches and forecast what the 2010 season may have in store.
According to the report, last summer's salmon harvests totaled 162.5 million, making it the twelfth largest harvest since 1960.
Chum salmon were the most valuable species in Southeast Alaska according to the report, with a total exvessel value of $37 million. District 1 had above average returns of pink salmon, making it the hot spot last year.
So, what is in store for the coming year? Based on charts in the report, the pink forecast is less than stellar with the total number around 70 million, which is down from last year's projected return of about 138 million. Chum salmon, however, are expected to be about the same with a return of around 17 million. Projections show the sockeye harvest to be higher than last year with an estimated return of around 45 million. That's up from last year when ADF&G estimated a return of 38 million. And when it comes to king salmon, things look grim, according to the report. Projected returns dropped to 425,000, which is a marked dip from last year's estimate of about 650,000.
For more information go online to www.adfg.state.ak.us/.