Slump in Bristol Bay sockeye harvests to hit most fishing districts

Overall harvest figures are down from last year, but remain well above 10-year averages, however.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) released detailed harvest data for the five Bristol Bay districts Tuesday projecting declines in most of the regions compared with last year's harvest.

Bristol Bay sockeye harvest forecast at 27.4 million for 2017

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The commercial salmon season in Bristol Bay opens June 1 with a total projected sockeye harvest of 27.47 million fish.

That's more than 26 percent percent below last year's overall harvest and well below last year's preliminary projections.

Here's a look at the projected harvests for the individual districts:

  • Naknek-Kvichak -- 8.29 million sockeye, 39 percent less than last year's harvest of 13.5 million, but 12 percent more than the average sockeye harvest from 1996 to 2015.
  • Egegik -- 8.56 million sockeye, slightly more than last year's harvest of 8.48 million, but 29 percent more than the average sockeye harvest from 1996 to 2015.
  • Ugashik -- 4.09 million sockeye, 40 percent less than last year's harvest of 6.77 million, but 64 percent more than the average sockeye harvest from 1996 to 2015.
  • Nushagak -- 6.06 million sockeye, 24 percent less than last year's harvest of 8.01 million, but 4 percent more than the average sockeye harvest from 1996 to 2015.
  • Togiak -- 480,000 sockeye, 22 percent less than last year's harvest of 611,480 and 9 percent less than the average sockeye harvest from 1996 to 2015.

ADF&G reported the 2016 average sockeye weight was 5.4 pounds selling for an average of $0.76 (€0.72) per pound,

This brings the total harvest weight to 201.6 million pounds of sockeye selling for $153.2 million (€144.4 million).

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