JUNEAU - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game released its preliminary estimates for this year's commercial salmon harvest and its value.
Commercial fishermen harvested 161.7 million salmon this year, the 11th largest harvest since statehood. The harvest was 15 million fish higher than in 2008 and 14 million fish below the pre-season forecast.
The 10-year average commercial harvest is 172 million salmon.
This year's catch value - $370.1 million - is higher than the most recent 10-year average of $308 million.
Statewide average prices show declines for all species of salmon compared to 2008, down to 80 cents per pound from 84 cents last year.
Final prices may be higher after post-season adjustments and end-of-season bonuses are paid to fisherman, the department said.
The statewide chum salmon harvest of 17.9 million fish ranks as the seventh-best of all time in numbers of fish, and the value of $57.4 million was well below the near record-setting 2008 value of $87.1 million.
Estimates will be revised in 2010, when fish ticket data and processors' reports are finalized.