Tag Archives: Pink salmon

Humpy run into Price William Sound forecast is above average

Forecasts for the 2020 fishing season show a robust run of pink and chum salmon into Price William Sound, along with a healthy run of kings and below average return of wild and hatchery salmon to the Copper River. The area forecast released by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game on Tuesday, Jan. 28, also put wild sockeye returns to Coghill Lake at slightly below average. >click to read< 09:20

FISH FACTOR: First checks finally set for 2016 pink salmon disaster

It’s been a long time coming but payments should soon be in hand for Alaska fishermen, processors and coastal communities hurt by the 2016 pink salmon run failure, the worst in 40 years.  Congress OK’d more than $56 million in federal relief in 2017, but the authorization to cut the money loose languished on NOAA desks in D.C. for more than two years. The payouts got delayed again last October,,, >click to read< 17:18

Opposite forecasts for SE pinks, Bristol Bay reds; Cook Inlet busts

Biologists are forecasting another weak pink salmon year for Southeast and another strong sockeye salmon run for Bristol Bay coming in the 2020 season. The forecasts for Southeast Alaska and for Bristol Bay, released in late November, continue the trends of the past few years in both areas. In Southeast, biologists are forecasting about 12 million fish to be harvested, with a range of 7 million to 19 million fish. >click to read< 11:51

Pink salmon disaster relief payments delayed

Federal relief payments to permit holders who participated in the disastrous 2016 Gulf of Alaska pink salmon fishery have hit another snag, and now won’t be forthcoming until March. News of the payment delay, which was slated to be within six to eight weeks of the Oct. 31 deadline for skipper applications for relief reached Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, on Nov. 15. >click to read< 17:14

Hundreds of spawning salmon killed in Squamish river; BC Hydro admits responsibility

Biologist Chessy Knight, who captured photos of the dead fish on Sept. 20, estimates about 300 fish were killed when the water levels in the Cheakamus River fell by about half over the course of a day. The pink salmon were trapped in shallow pools and couldn’t return to deeper, flowing sections of the river. “This has been happening for many, many years on the Cheakamus,” said Knight, who’s also president of the Squamish River Watershed Society. “But this is the first time that we saw adult spawners also affected by these flow manipulations.” >click to read< 17:59

Prince William Sound humpy harvest late, compressed but strong

Commercial harvests of humpies in Prince William Sound rose to over 34 million fish through Tuesday, Aug. 20, up nearly 12 million fish in seven days, while the overall salmon harvest for the Sound rose from 30.5 million to nearly 42 million for the same period. Still the pink salmon harvest remains late and compressed for wild stocks and the Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corp. run, said Charlie Russell, seine area management biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Cordova. “The most likely culprit is the record heat wave and drought conditions that have affected much of Alaska,” >click to read< 12:39

Historic Alaska heatwave is killing off thousands of salmon

Unusually warm temperatures across Alaska this summer has led to die-offs of unspawned chum, sockeye and pink salmon, with the warm waters acting as a “thermal block,” basically a wall of heat salmon don’t swim past, delaying upriver migration.,,,  “Cook Inletkeeper has been tracking stream temperatures in non-glacial systems across the Cook Inlet watershed since 2002. But this is a first – we’ve never seen stream temperatures above 76 degrees Fahrenheit,” wrote Mauger.  “Physiologically, the fish can’t get oxygen moving through their bellies,”,,, >click to read< 09:46

Prince William Sound Pink salmon fishery back in business

Pink salmon commercial harvests are still below forecasts, but even with no prospect of rain predicted so far until Aug. 22, the catch in Prince William Sound rose from 17.6 million to 22.2 million within the past week. Preliminary harvest figures posted by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game showed that 22,904,000 pinks comprised the bulk of the overall Prince William Sound harvest as of Aug. 14. The rest of the overall catch to date of 30.5 million fish in the Sound’s commercial harvest includes 5,026,000 chum, 2,526,000 sockeyes, 18,000 Chinook and 15,000 coho salmon. >click to read< 13:13

Norway Battling ‘Russian Invasion’ of Salmon, Fishermen Urged to Kill ‘Occupiers’

Norway is facing an invasion of humpback salmon, informally known as “Russian salmon”, Norwegian researchers have warned. According to them, the intrusion is gaining momentum, and Norway is yet to see the worst of it. According to locals and researchers alike, the much-dreaded “invasion” may turn into a prolonged “occupation”.  Elevated populations of the humpback salmon, which is the invader’s official name,,, >click to read< 20:40

Cook Inlet salmon fisheries into full swing after rough 2018

Upper Cook Inlet salmon fisheries are now in full swing, with promising sockeye returns finally showing up. East Side setnetters in the sections north of Kasilof opened for their first period July 8, and the personal-use dipnet fishery on the Kenai River opened July 10. They join the drift gillnet fleet and other Upper Cook Inlet setnetters as well as the inriver sportfishery and the Kasilof River personal-use fishery. As of July 8, nearly 80,000 sockeye salmon had passed the sonar in the Kenai River. That’s more than double the number that had passed through on the previous date in 2018, when only 37,513 had passed, according to the Alaska Departm,,, >click to read< 15:31

‘Unheard of’ flood of pinks surprises at Alaska Peninsula

The biggest fish story for Alaska’s salmon season so far is the early plug of pinks at the South Alaska Peninsula. By June 28, more than 8 million pink salmon were taken there out of a statewide catch of just more than 8.5 million. Previously, a catch of 2.5 million pinks at the South Peninsula in 2016 was the record for June and last year’s catch was just 1.7 million Managers at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game at Sand Point said at this pace, this month’s catch could near 10 million pinks. By Laine Welch,  >click to read< 11:53

Promising news on pink salmon disaster relief funds

Dear Friends and Neighbors, As the season is either underway or close at hand for many of you, I wanted to provide a short update about where we are with the 2016 pink salmon disaster relief funding. I believe we have some promising news. Thanks in part to outreach from people like yourselves, Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office has been putting a lot of pressure on the federal level to expedite the release of the grant funding. It appears to be having some effect. As I write this, it is Tuesday, May 28, according to new information, NOAA is aiming to release the grant funding to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) by this upcoming Saturday, June 1. Rep. Louise Stutes >click to read<19:37

Southeast pink salmon forecast cause for concern

As the days grow longer and summer plans start to materialize, 18 million is a number on the mind of many across Southeast Alaska, especially those in numerous industries that rely on salmon fishing. Eighteen million is the number of pink salmon the Southeast forecast shows could be harvested in the 2019 commercial fishing season.,, “Salmon is the biggest portion of my income for sure,” said Stan Savland, commercial fisherman out of Hoonah and 20-year seiner. “The forecast is very alarming. I’m worried about this season because our recent odd year cycles are really what’s been carrying the seine fleet to make it.” >click to read<13:00

Southeast pink salmon catch lowest in over four decades

Southeast Alaska’s commercial pink salmon catch will wind up way below forecasts, the lowest harvest in more than four decades. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s pink and chum salmon project leader for Southeast Andy Piston said the region’s commercial catch this summer is 7.3 million fish. “And that would be the lowest region-wide harvest since 1976,” Piston said. “And our Southeast purse seine catch, and that’s the gear group that catches most of our pink salmon, is about 6.5 million which again is the lowest we’ve seen since the mid-1970s.” It’s not the lowest catch ever. >click to read<14:57

Alaska’s 2018 commercial salmon harvest 30 percent below forecast, yet some fisheries have boomed

The statewide commercial salmon harvest is about 31 percent below the preseason forecast, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said in a statement Thursday. The 2018 season, it said, “has been unusual.” Preliminary numbers show a statewide commercial salmon harvest of about 103 million fish so far. That’s subject to change, because the fishing season isn’t completely over yet. Fish and Game’s forecast in March projected a total statewide harvest of 147 million fish. >click to read<08:03

Humpy invasion

While West Coast Americans – Alaskans among them – worry and fret about farmed Atlantic salmon escaping to invade the Pacific Ocean despite decades of failed stocking efforts aimed at helping them do so, the Norwegians, Scots and other Europeans are facing a real and significant problem with an invasive Pacific salmon – the ubiquitous Alaska humpy. The smallest of the Pacific salmon, the humpy – or pink salmon – is by far the most common species in the 49th state. Of the 224.6 million salmon caught in Alaska last year, 63 percent, some 114.6 million, were pinks, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.  And Northern Europeans are now worried the highly adaptable and voracious humpy could become a common species in their coastal waters. Blame the Russians. >click to read<15:52

Board of Fisheries denies petition on hatcheries

The members of the Board of Fisheries agree that Pacific salmon hatchery impacts on wild salmon stocks are concerning, but they aren’t clear on what to do to address them yet. At a meeting Monday to consider emergency petitions, the board declined to consider an emergency petition submitted by the Kenai River Sportfishing Association and signed by a variety of Southcentral Alaska sportfishing organizations expressing concern about a hatchery operation permit. Specifically, the petition asked the board to intervene in a permit modification procedure for the Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation to increase its pink salmon egg take this season by 20 million. >click to read<15:35

Evermore salmon

More research is needed into the interactions of hatchery and wild fish in Alaska before the Alaska Department of Fish and Game approves the dumping of additional pink salmon fry into Prince William Sound, an advisory committee to state regulators decided here this week. Virgil Umphenour, the chair of the committee and a former member of the state Board of Fisheries, says it is troubling that a state which has long prided itself on best-in-the-world, scientific management of its fisheries is allowing ever more salmon ranching with little clue as to the impacts on wild fish.,, There are obvious impacts, says Nancy Hillstrand of Homer, who has become an activist for wild fish. >click to read<08:45

Deadly success?

Twenty-eight years ago, the state of Alaska banned fish farming in favor of salmon ranching. The idea was simple: Catch a bunch of fish, squeeze out their eggs and sperm, mix the two together, hatch the eggs, raise the little fish in a hatchery, dump them in the ocean, wait for them to come back, and net the money. What could possibly go wrong? Maybe this: From 1985 to 1994, before the hatchery program seriously geared up in the Prince William Sound, the commercial catch of sockeye (red) salmon in Cook Inlet averaged about 5.3 million fish per year.>click to read<10:34

Alaska tops nation in total fishing volume for 20th year

The annual report detailing national and regional economic impacts of U.S. fisheries totaled $9.6 billion in value in 2016 with Alaska as usual producing more than the rest of the nation combined. Alaska produced 58 percent of all landings and for the 20th straight year brought in the highest volume, according to the 2016 Fisheries of the United States report by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The top spot for all ports in the nation went to Dutch Harbor, which brought in 770 million pounds with Alaska pollock accounting for 89 percent of that volume. click here to read the story 16:43

Alaska salmon season a success in global market

It was a generally good salmon season for Alaska, except for one species. “It was a disastrous year for chinook harvest.” That’s Andy Wink, a seafood economist with the consulting firm McDowell Group. Wink says while king salmon may be the most famous salmon species among Alaskans, it also makes up the lowest total value of all the different commercial salmon species. “Sockeye, pink salmon, chum salmon, those are the species that for the commercial fleet really move the needle in terms of total value.” click here to read the story 19:25

British Columbia: What is behind the sockeye salmon collapse?

The sockeye salmon run this year, is, according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada and other reputable sources, down considerably. The reason for this, depends on who you talk to. Aaron Hill, executive director of Watershed Watch Salmon Society, says part of the problem is the fisheries ministry has dragged its feet on the Cohen Commission recommendations. The Cohen Commission, created in 2009, issued a report in 2012 with 75 recommendations on how Fisheries and Oceans Canada (working with its provincial partner) could monitor and safeguard the Pacific salmon fisheries. click here to read the story 11:43

Chignik fishermen slay record six million humpies

The unexpected banner pink year filled a gap after the sockeye run came in well below expectations, and helped push the Chignik salmon fishery past and estimated $15 million in ex-vessel value. An incredible pink salmon run helped the Chignik salmon fishery rebound, after the sockeye run fell well below expectations. The fleet landed just over six million pinks, double the previous biggest harvest since statehood. click here to read the story 08:21

Wild or hatchery fish: opinions vary on large pink return

Pink salmon seem to be showing up everywhere in creeks and along beaches all around Kachemak Bay and the outer coast of the Peninsula. Pinks are returning to systems that have historically never supported salmon. That has caused some head scratching in the fishing community, and there are differing theories as to why pinks are colonizing new systems. This summer was a significant year for commercial fishermen in Lower Cook Inlet. Glen Hollowell, area management biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, says two million pink salmon were commercially harvested, double the historic average. click here to read the story 09:10

Southern SE could see late pink salmon push

Rain showers expected this weekend for southern Southeast Alaska promise a much needed drink for the limited number of pink salmon that have returned so far this year to the region — after a recent stretch of dry summer heat threatened to zap their freshwater spawning grounds. The fish that amass in the greatest numbers during July and August have delivered an unusual 2017 return mostly to the northern reaches of the Alaska panhandle. Meanwhile, pinks have been surprisingly absent, at least initially, from the historically strong fishing waters of the Ketchikan area and off Prince of Wales Island. What fish have surfaced in southern Southeast have been dealt the added challenge of navigating low-level freshwater streams en route to spawn, namely on Prince of Wales Island. click here to read the story 08:34

A salmon rare to this part of the world has been caught in another Donegal river

A salmon rare to this part of the world has been caught on the River Crana in Buncrana. The Pink Salmon (also known as a Humpback Salmon) was landed by well-known local angler Mickey McGrory. Abiding by the law, the fish was handed over to Irish Fisheries Ireland (IFI) inspector Peter Kelly. Pat Kane, from the Buncrana Anglers Association, said Pink Salmon in Irish waters was “very rare.” He added: “Nobody knows when the last one would have been caught, although there are ‘rumors’ one was landed by a Greencastle trawler in Lough Foyle in the 1980s. Anglers in the south of the county recently caught the rare salmon in the Drowes river. click here to read the story 14:16

A “mystery” – Pink Salmon warning after species found in Irish rivers

A non-native species of salmon has been found in rivers along the west coast of Ireland, causing concern among Irish fishing authorities. Inland Fisheries Ireland said the pink salmon, which are of Pacific origin, were found in rivers in Counties Galway, Mayo and Donegal. The fishing board said it was concerned about the impact the fish may have on Ireland’s Atlantic species. The pink salmon was also found earlier this month in Scotland. Pink Salmon, also known as humpback salmon, originate from the west coasts of the United States, Canada and northern Asia. click here to read the story  09:32

Prince William Sound’s pink salmon run shows up late, harvest is underway

Up until Monday, numbers of pink salmon returning to Prince William Sound looked like they may be a repeat of last year’s dismal run, but the fish are beginning to show up and the harvest is underway. “On Monday, the common property fishery took about 2.5 million fish. Yesterday, it’s looking about 1.2 million,” Charles Russel said, Alaska Fish and Game’s Area Management Biologist for the Prince William Sound area. “Today, initial reports say that fisheries may be close to yesterday, but we’re a little bit behind, but still catching good numbers of fish.” The sudden pick up will have seiners breathing a sigh of relief after last year’s harvest, which was among the worst on record. The federal government officially declared the run in Prince William Sound and others around the state a disaster in January. click here to read the story 08:51

Too many pink salmon in Kachemak Bay?

Tucked into a narrow fjord on the south side of Kachemak Bay is a small lagoon, 700 feet wide, and only a couple thousand feet long. At low tide, a salty trickle connects it to the ocean. At high tide, at the height of the summer, treble hooks fly between a flurry of skiffs as salmon snaggers circle the net pens in the center of the lagoon. Seines scoop up tens of thousands of fish in an attempt to pay for the hatchery, as hatchery operators collect eggs from the fish that swarm the creek. A few weeks later, carcasses rot, eggs incubate and Tutka Lagoon fades back into relative obscurity. Until this year, that is, when a wave of controversy spilled out through that narrow channel like the 100 million pink salmon they hope to release, flooding across Kachemak Bay State Park to Homer, up Cook Inlet, and down to Juneau, prompting the governor to send a fleet of commissioners to brace against the wave. click here to read the story 09:03

Alaska Pink Salmon Fishery Set To Rank as Worst in 20 Years

pink salmonAlaska’s 2016 pink salmon fishery is set to rank as the worst in 20 years by a long shot, and the outlook is bleak for all other salmon catches except sockeyes. “Boy, sockeye is really going to have to carry the load in terms of the fishery’s value because there’s a lot of misses elsewhere,” said Andy Wink, a fisheries economist with the Juneau-based McDowell Group. The historical peaks of the various salmon runs have already passed and the pink salmon catch so far has yet to break 35 million on a forecast of 90 million. That compares to a harvest of 190 million pinks last year. Weekly tracking through August 15 shows the pace of the Chinook salmon harvest (341,000) is down 42 percent versus last year in net fisheries, cohos (under 2 million) are down 20 percent, and the chum catch (12 million) is down 25 percent. Read the article here 14:42