Salmon haul in 2007 fourth-largest since statehood

Preliminary estimates show 212 million fish harvested this year

Posted: Friday, November 09, 2007

KENAI - Alaska's commercial salmon harvest in 2007 was valued at $374 million, making the haul the fourth-largest since statehood, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

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Preliminary estimates show fishing crews harvested 212 million salmon - about 33 million more fish than preseason predictions. It also was far above the 164 million 10-year average.

The Cook Inlet catch totaled more than 4.3 million fish, the vast bulk of that being sockeye salmon. The total Cook Inlet catch was valued at more than $24.8 million and weighed in at 25.91 million pounds.

Preliminary estimates of statewide average prices for sockeye and pink salmon were 75 cents and 17 cents a pound, respectively. Those numbers are comparable to last year's ex-vessel prices.

The average price for chinook, or king salmon, prices was $2.68 a pound, lower than the 2006 price. Winter troll-caught chinook, however, are averaging more than double these levels, the department said.

Preliminary prices for coho, or silver salmon, prices fell from $1.04 a pound in 2006 to 83 cents a pound this year. Preliminary chum salmon prices fell from 32 cents a pound to 30 cents a pound.

The Bristol Bay harvest totaled 31.6 million fish valued at $108.3 million. Sockeyes accounted for 29.5 million of those fish, with a preliminary ex-vessel value of $106 million, about $2 million short of the 2006 figure.

In Prince William Sound, about 70.6 million fish worth $77.8 million were caught. Sockeyes totaled 3.2 million fish, but pinks accounted for the bulk of the catch, numbering just under 63.5 million fish worth $32.5 million.

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