AK - Alaska's salmon harvest for 2021 is projected to be a big one
Alaska’s salmon harvest for 2021 is projected to be a big one, with total catches producing a haul that could be 61% higher than last year, due mostly to an expected surge of pinks.
Fishery managers are predicting a statewide catch topping 190 million fish compared to 118.3 million in 2020. The breakdown by species includes 46.6 million sockeye salmon (a 203,000 increase), 3.8 million cohos (1.4 million higher), 15.3 million chums (6.7 million more), 296,000 Chinook (up by 4,000) and 124.2 million pink salmon (a 63.5 million increase).
In its report Run Forecasts and Harvest Projections for 2021 Alaska Salmon Fisheries and Review of the 2020 Season, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game provides breakdowns for all species by region.
Along with the projected 49% increase in pink salmon catches, Bristol Bay will again rule the day with sockeye runs to the region’s nine river systems expected to exceed 51 million fish and a harvest of 36.35 million reds, 13% higher than the 10 year average.
Other highlights: The Southeast Alaska pink salmon harvest of 28 million is predicted to be in the average range. The total all-species take for the region is projected at 40.2 million fish.
At Copper River, the sockeye catch is projected at a meager 844,000 fish and 13,000 Chinook salmon.
For Prince William Sound, the total salmon harvest forecast calls for 59.7 million fish, of which nearly 55 million are pinks.