"It was a mixed bag across the state," said Mike Plotnick, in the commercial fisheries division of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, noting that while king runs were disappointing, the sockeye, silver and chum runs came in strong.
The overall harvest ranked 17th highest since statehood, and the numbers are still coming in, said Plotnick.
Fish tickets are still coming in to state fisheries officials and preliminary price information, average weights and poundage won't be released until November.
Still, it is significant to note that eight of the top 20 harvests overall have occurred in this century, Plotnick said.
"We have seen some significantly large harvests in this century alone," he said.
These include the 2007 overall salmon harvest, the fourth largest since statehood, at 213 million fish, and the preliminary 2008 harvest, at nearly 139 million fish, compared to a forecast of 132.5 million fish, he said.
The king run was a major disappointment, with 305,000 harvested overall by commercial fleets, 55 percent below the forecast. The pink harvest was a disappointment in Southeast Alaska, where vessels harvested 15.6 million fish, after a forecast of 20.7 million pinks.
Prince William Sound fishers fared better, harvesting 40 million pinks, twice their forecast; and statewide, the total pink harvest was in excess of 80 million fish.
The statewide sockeye salmon forecast was 47 million reds, and preliminary counts show the harvest at just over 38 million reds, still in the top 20 harvests since statehood.
The statewide coho forecast was 4.4 million silvers, and harvesters brought in 3.3 million, which put the silver harvest at about 27th since statehood. The chum harvest, forecast at 18.7 million fish, came in at 16.5 million fish, still placing it ninth overall in chum harvests since statehood.
In the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim area, where the prized Yukon kings are critical to the economy, it was a devastating year. The forecast of 82,000 kings came in at about 28,000, allowing for some Kuskokwim River and Kuskokwim Bay harvests, but very few in the Lower Yukon.
Pink, sockeye and chum runs in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim
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