Tag Archives: sockeye salmon

Sockeye harvest breaks all-time top 5; pinks picking up

The 2019 salmon season has seen plenty of fish return to the state, but far from evenly across regions. As of Sept. 10, commercial fishermen across Alaska have landed 198.4 million salmon of all five species, about 8 percent less than the preseason forecast of 213.2 million. Most of that shortfall is in pink and chum salmon, which haven’t delivered on their forecasts so far, but a surplus of sockeye salmon helped make up for some of that gap. Statewide, commercial fishermen have landed more than 55.1 million sockeye, about 9 percent more than last year and 5 million more than the preseason forecast. >click to read< 07:40

B.C. confirms sockeye salmon have passed through Fraser River slide naturally

The British Columbia government says that for the first time, sockeye salmon are confirmed to have swum past the massive landslide on the Fraser River north of Lilooet. As of Friday, the province says nearly 18,000 salmon had swum past the slide on their own via the natural channel that’s being restored. Nearly 52,000 salmon, including sockeye, chinook and small numbers of pink and coho, have also been transported,,, >click to read< 18:12

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

Bristol Bay – Why the two main forecasts have a 5 million-fish difference

This year, 44.6 million sockeye salmon will return to Bristol Bay – if you trust the University of Washington forecast. But the University of Washington forecast isn’t the only one out there. “This year’s forecast is 40.18 million,” said Gregory Buck, Fish and Game’s fishery biologist and regional research coordinator for Bristol Bay. Buck says the almost 5 million sockeye difference between the ADF&G and UW forecasts has a pretty simple explanation: an accumulation of small data interpretation differences. >click to read< 10:31

Monterey Bay fishermen catch salmon as far away as Alaska. A proposed copper mine there poses a local threat.

Tom DiMaggio is 96 years old and blessed with a full head neatly combed white hair and a warm handshake. A fisherman for his whole career, he’s been retired for over 20 years and remains a vibrant member of the fishing community – only these days, the community is far from the dock and instead gathers at the East Village Coffee Lounge in Monterey to while away weekday mornings, sipping espresso and swapping stories.,,Commercial fishing is an unpredictable profession in many ways, though the two greatest uncertainties are how many fish are caught and how much those fish sell for. The nature of the job means many fishermen want to surround themselves with a crew they can trust, which often means family. Ask the East Village table of old-school fishermen how they got started, and they all have a similar answer:, >click to read<14:00

Fisheries official says 2018 saw a ‘reasonably good return’ despite low numbers

The number of sockeye salmon that made it up the Fraser River last fall was lower than originally predicted, prompting a conservation group to blame the federal fisheries regulator for allowing the area to be overfished. “This year, it was the lowest run or spawning return they’ve seen on record on this cycle,” Greg Taylor told CBC Radio’s Daybreak Kamloops host Shelley Joyce. “They were very disappointing,” said Taylor, a senior fisheries advisor for the Watershed Watch Salmon Society.,,, A DFO representative told Joyce on Thursday that, while the numbers were lower than predicted, the return numbers were not out of the ordinary >click to read<20:14

Fraser River sockeye finally catch a break with cooling water temps

Sockeye salmon entering the Fraser River this week will be aided by cooling water temperatures, which should decrease mortality and help them reach their spawning grounds up river in better condition. Commercial fishers are optimistic that the sockeye run will live up to early season predictions as late-season fish start to enter the river. Sockeye migrating into the river this summer are the grandchildren of the record-breaking 2010 run that exceeded 28 million fish. “The fishing we’ve had up to this point has been pretty darn good,” said Chauvel. “You have to make your money in these peak years. The years in between are subsistence, so it’s these sockeye years that put you over the top.” >click to read<22:02

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

The mysterious case of Alaska’s strange sockeye salmon returns this year

There’s something unusual going on with the sockeye salmon runs returning to Alaska this year. In some places — like Bristol Bay — the runs are strong. In others, like the Copper River or the Kenai River they’re unexpectedly weak. In some places, there are sockeye that are unusually small. In others, sockeye of a certain age appear to be missing entirely. It’s a mystery. In Southeast Alaska, one of the first Fish and Game staffers to notice an unusual trend was Iris Frank, a regional data coordinator and fisheries technician. Frank’s lab is on the first floor of Fish and Game’s Douglas Island office that looks like it hasn’t changed much in the 32 years since she got there. >click to read<18:06

‘Gorgeous fish’: Steveston fishery workers haul in sockeye salmon bounty

Trung Nguyen, selling sockeye off his boat at the Steveston Pier for $8 a pound, has been waiting four years for this moment. Nguyen and other commercial fishery workers returned to the Richmond harbour Thursday with coolers full of salmon after being allowed out on the Fraser River Wednesday to catch salmon. The 2018 run is expected to be the biggest since 2014 and fishery workers had 24 hours to take advantage of the bounty. Strong runs come in four-year cycles and this year’s could eclipse 20 million fish. “Nice and firm. Gorgeous fish,” Nguyen said, showing a potential buyer an example of his haul. “We haven’t had an opening for four years, so this is a big year.” >click to read<09:46

Fraser River sockeye salmon fishing bonanza to start next week

The Fraser River will open next week for its first sockeye salmon run of the season, in a year that is expected to bring in millions of fish for the first time in four years. For local fishermen, it’s better than Christmas. “Oh, we’re super excited,” said Richmond fisherman Roy Jantunen, hours after learning the Pacific Salmon Commission had announced a 24-hour opening from 7 a.m. Wednesday. Jantunen is preparing to go flat out for that full day, without any sleep, to maximize his catch. “It’s great news,” he said. “Last week, we were pulling out the nets and getting them ready. We haven’t used these nets in four years.” >click to read<08:08

Kenai River anglers ask for closure of Cook Inlet commercial set netting

The Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA) is calling for the closure of set net fishing on the Cook Inlet until adequate numbers of king and sockeye salmon enter the Kenai River. The organization is asking Gov. Bill Walker to direct the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to take action and help Kenai River salmon numbers rebound.,,, One commercial set netter agrees a closure could benefit harvests for both sides. “As a commercial set netter for almost 50 years, and speaking for myself,” Ken Coleman said, “I believe we commercial fisherman have always been in favor of department closures when the health of the fisheries is at risk, whether it be sockeyes, or Chinook or other species. >click to read<08:24

Bristol Bay sockeye harvest breaking records as other districts suffer

The Nushugak District in Bristol Bay is experiencing an all-time record harvest of sockeye salmon as other districts across Alaska suffer poor returns. “Last year the Nushagak set an all-time record of 12.3 million fish for the year, I just got off the phone [on Friday] with the manager and he expects that record to be broken today,” said Art Nelson, a spokesperson for commercial fisheries at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. “And there are more fish to come.” Other districts across Alaska have been struggling with poor sockeye harvests. >click to read<08:44

Salmon struggles extend to unprecedented restrictions at Chignik

A tough sockeye salmon commercial fishing season is shaping up in the Gulf of Alaska, from the Copper River across to Kodiak Island and back to the mainland at Chignik. And the Yukon River is seeing dismal chinook salmon returns, although the summer chum run is strong. “I haven’t put my net in the water once,” complained Chignik purse seiner Roger Rowland on June 26. “It’s literally the worst run ever.” Rowland commented from the fishing district on his cellphone, via teleconference in an Unalaska City Council meeting, about 300 miles to the southwest where he lives, during a break between votes. >click to read< 18:36

Horrible timing

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game was Wednesday lobbying Alaska residents to buy Chitina dipnet permits to fish the Copper River even as the troubled, 2018 return of sockeye salmon to that big, muddy drainage was fading so badly that Cordova commercial fishermen pleaded to have the dipnet fishery shut down. “As of today sonar counts are well below projected counts and remain below the minimum threshold of 360,000 sockeye salmon for spawning escapements,” the Cordova District Fishermen United said in a letter to state officials. “In light of the weak early run component, restrictive closures on commercial fishing openers, and no noticeable increase in counts at the sonar currently, it is in the best interest of our sockeye runs to close the Copper River personal use and sport fisheries.” >click to read<18:26

Cordova disaster?

The Copper River commercial salmon fishery will remain closed on Monday, leaving about 550 gillnet fishermen in Cordova to sit in port and ponder what is increasingly looking like a disaster for what is pound-for-pound Alaska’s most valuable sockeye run. Favored fad-fish of high-scale restaurants, Copper sockeye had a reported price on their heads of $8.50 to$9.50 per pound when the season opened, and everything looked good-to-go despite a below-average, pre-season sockeye forecast. >click to read<09:53

Upper Cook Inlet – Commercial fishermen to open with regular periods

Commercial fisheries managers in Cook Inlet are moving forward with a cautious eye on salmon runs but relatively normal fishing regulations for the summer. An Alaska Department of Fish and Game announcement released Friday detailed the 2018 commercial salmon fishing management strategy for Upper Cook Inlet. Managers are predicting a somewhat lower Kenai River late-run king salmon return, but it’s still within the sustainable escapement goal; the sockeye salmon forecast for the Kenai River is predicted to be 2.5 million, which is about 1.1 million less than the recent 20-year average. >click to read<08:04

The Secret Lives of Commercial Fishermen – Corey Arnold

In the early 2000s, Corey Arnold worked on commercial fishing boats in some of the world’s most dangerous waters, taking photos of the job whenever he had the chance. Soon galleries and magazines were paying attention. In 2008, Arnold shot a story for Outside in Bristol Bay, Alaska, about environmental threats from the proposed Pebble Mine. During that assignment, he discovered a seasonal fishing community at Graveyard Point, near the mouth of the Kvichak River, and established his own salmon operation. (An excellent photo article.) >click to read<16:50

20,030,171: final tally on Nushagak District banner year

With final tally from fish tickets, Bristol Bay’s westside district officially reached a milestone most never thought possible. After Bristol Bay’s sockeye season winds down, the Department of Fish and Game works on inputting all the data from fish tickets, both the electronic and paper kind. Westside area management biologist Tim Sands says this gives a more accurate tally, which coincidentally just pushed his district to a new milestone. click here to read the story

Bumper sockeye salmon run forecast for Bristol Bay in 2018

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is forecasting another bumper year for sockeye salmon in 2018. An expected 51 million sockeye could return, with 37 million set aside for commercial fishing. “All systems are expected to meet their spawning escapement goals,” wrote the ADF&G in a news release. The bumper forecast comes amidst debate about whether to open the controversial Pebble Mine, a move that supporters say would bring growth and economic activity to the region. Detractors say the mine would harm the profitable watershed. click here to read the story 08:39

Experts: Idaho hatchery built to save salmon is killing them

A relatively new $13.5 million hatchery intended to save Snake River sockeye salmon from extinction is instead killing thousands of fish before they ever get to the ocean, and fisheries biologists in Idaho think they know why. The Department of Fish and Game in information released this week says water chemistry at the Springfield Hatchery in eastern Idaho is so different from that in the central region that the young fish can’t adjust when released into the wild. Idaho Rivers United, an environmental group, blasted the report as more reason for removing four dams on the lower Snake River that impede salmon click here to read the story 10:53

Board of Fisheries declines request to cap Kodiak sockeye harvest

The Board of Fisheries won’t take up an out-of-cycle request to cap Kodiak sockeye salmon harvests during certain periods of the season, though it won’t be the last time the issue comes up. The board declined to accept an agenda change request that proposed a new management plan for the commercial purse seine fishery in the Kodiak Management Area setting weekly and seasonal limits on sockeye salmon harvest. The request, submitted by the United Cook Inlet Drift Association, raises concerns brought to light in a recent Alaska Department of Fish and Game genetic study showing that Kodiak seiners catch hundreds of thousands of Cook Inlet-bound sockeye salmon during the summer. click here to read the story 08:57

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

No feast during sockeye famine in Richmond

For a second year in a row, all commercial fishing of the Fraser River’s sockeye salmon has been closed by the Fraser River Panel, the regulatory body that assesses annual salmon runs. Only 1.7 million sockeye are expected to return to the Fraser this year, which is just over a third of the 4.4 million that were expected at the start of the year.,,, The closure should put a premium price on salmon for consumers, according to local fisherman Gus Jacobson. click here to read the story 18:47

Wild Alaskan Salmon and Seafood: Quality over quantity

Wild Alaskan Salmon and Seafood is a family owned business, processing 25,000 pounds of salmon per day. Inside the plant 13 workers are hard at work. They work long hours, sometimes pulling 22 hour shifts, but morale is high, music is on and people are joking. James Sumrall, assistant manager, said everyone is friends. “When we come here being such a small and tight knit crew it’s kinda like we’re hanging out here. It’s steady and hard work but it’s kinda like we’re hanging out,” he said. “No type of overbearing hand that’s telling you work harder, work faster. Obviously we keep a good pace, but it’s a lot friendlier, moral stays high.” Wild Alaskan Salmon and Seafood is owned by Tony and Heather Woods. Most of the salmon processed at the facility is caught by drifter Tony himself. In fact, he was not available for an interview because he is out fishing the tail end of the season. Audio, click here to read the story 20:09

B.C. fishermen facing limited or no openings for sockeye

Commercial fishermen in B.C. won’t be getting many – if any – opportunities to harvest sockeye salmon this year, though they may be able to at least net some pink salmon. This year’s Fraser River sockeye return is expected to be low, based on historical patterns, and the early signs are that they are coming in even lower than forecast. Nass and Skeena River sockeye aren’t doing any better. The only runs that seem to be doing relatively well are Somass River sockeye and Central Coast chum salmon. No commercial opening had been expected for Somass sockeye, but returns were strong enough to allow for a small opening for seine and gillnet fisheries. click here to read the story 09:05

Commercial fisheries in Upper Cook Inlet open again as sockeye run continues

Commercial fishing resumed in Upper Cook Inlet this weekend. The Department of Fish and Game made the announcement Friday after fishing had been closed for the prior week. Commercial fisheries manager Pat Shields says the numbers of sockeye entering the Kenai river have been ticking up all week. “We’ve been continuing to closely monitor sockeye salmon passage into the Kenai river. The last few days have seen increased passage. It came down a bit Thursday, but 72,000 on Wednesday. Friday’s count in the Kenai through 7 a.m. is the highest morning count we’ve had this year. So we expect simliar passage (as) the last few days. We now can project that we’re going to end up in the goal range for Kenai river, which is 900,000 to 1.1 million. click here to read the story 22:19

Meanwhile, at Brooks Falls – Katmai National Park Live Feed – Brown Bears feast on the largest Sockeye Salmon run in the world

16:51

Single-day catch of 1 million sockeye buoys Nushagak fishermen in Bristol Bay

A million salmon caught in a day isn’t unheard of in the wildly productive Bristol Bay commercial fishery, but for one district it proved to be a record. Whether the early bonanza is a harbinger of a strong season, though, remains to be seen. Commercial fishermen in Bristol Bay’s Nushagak district caught a little over 1 million prized sockeye salmon Monday, the largest single-day catch in the Nushagak fishery. Typically, Bristol Bay catches peak around July 4. While million-plus days have happened in other Bristol Bay fisheries, they’re rarely seen in the Nushagak, a smaller fishery than the Naknek-Kvichak district to the east. The bay, considered the premier red salmon fishery in the country, is divided into five management districts based on the nine major river systems in the region. click here to read the story   17:17

2017 Bristol Bay sockeye forecast in line with recent average

bristolbaysockeyesBristol Bay can look forward to a regular season in 2017 after two years of hard work, if the forecast is to be believed. Alaska’s largest sockeye run has blown past projections the last two years, but next year the Alaska Department of Fish and Game predicts an average harvest. “A total of 41.47 million sockeye salmon (range 31.20–51.73 million) are expected to return to Bristol Bay in 2017,” according to an ADFG report released Nov. 15. “This is virtually identical to the most recent 10-year average of Bristol Bay total runs (41.39) and 27 percent greater than the long-term mean of 32.76 million.” For commercial fishermen, this means next year’s harvest will also be average, with a commercial harvest of 29 million. “A Bristol Bay harvest of this size is 2 percent lower than the most recent 10-year harvest which has ranged from 15.43 million to 37.53 million, and 34 percent greater than the long-term harvest average of 20.52 million fish (1963 to present),” the report states. Read the rest here 15:14