Following several years of dismal seasons, the total commercial harvest for Alaska copper River salmon this year is expected to increase nearly 38 percent compared to last year's commercial harvest predictions.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) said Friday the total Copper River sockeye salmon harvest estimate for all fisheries is predicted to be 1.193 million fish, with an anticipated commercial harvest of 987,000 fish, though the agency noted that the figures can vary widely.
At 1.695 million fish, the total predicted Copper River sockeye salmon run -- which includes wild and hatchery production -- is still 14 percent below the recent 10-year average, according to ADF&G.
The Copper River sockeye salmon run was ultimately below forecast in 2022, with regular short-duration fishing periods during the first month of the fishery, and the sixth smallest commercial harvest in the past 20 years, according to ADF&G.
The sockeye salmon commercial harvest of 592,000 fish was 46 percent below the 10-year harvest average of 1.09 million fish.
The Prince William Sound pink salmon run estimate, which was also released Friday, was put at 20.3 million fish -- around 26 percent over the recent 10-year average. The figure put the catch estimate at around 18.4 million fish.