Western Alaska Coho, Chum Projections Look Strong

Based on data from Alaska Department of Fish and Game, last year’s record run of silver salmon in Norton Sound could be just as – it not more – strong in 2020 this year. Here’s more from KNOM:

Coho, chum, and pink salmon runs are expected to be well above average this summer. ADF&G projects a chum harvest ranging from 180,000 fish to 230,000 fish. Meanwhile, the pink salmon harvest will depend on buyer interest but could reach up to 75,000 fish harvested. The commercial harvest for coho is expected to be 200,000 to 250,000 fish, which would be even more than last year’s top five record harvest for silvers in the Norton Sound.

Here’s some of ADFG’s projections:

The department expects better coho and chum salmon runs in 2020, and a Chinook salmon run like last year. The regular subsistence fishing schedule from mid-June until mid-July in Shaktoolik and Unalakleet Subdistricts is expected to be in effect for Chinook salmon with no additional subsistence restrictions. No commercial fishing for Chinook salmon is expected but incidentally caught Chinook salmon in commercial fisheries will be allowed to be sold. Chum salmon runs are expected to be well above average and the harvest is expected to be 180,000 to 230,000 fish.

The department expects the pink salmon run to be well above average for an even-numbered year, but harvest will depend on buyer interest and could range from 25,000 to 75,000 fish. No pink salmon directed fishing periods would be expected because of buyer interest in more valuable salmon species and the pink salmon harvest would likely be an incidental harvest only. However, the department does have the authority to increase fishing net aggregate length from 100 fathoms to 200 fathoms if there were a pink salmon directed fishery.

The coho salmon run is expected to be well above average based on ocean survival conditions in recent years and the commercial harvest is expected to be 200,000 to 250,000 fish. In the Port Clarence District, the department expects the commercial fishery to remain closed because of a lack of buyer interest despite the in-river goal of 30,000 sockeye salmon at Pilgrim River expected to be reached. Subsistence fishing closures in the Pilgrim River are not expected, but the department will limit sockeye salmon subsistence harvest to 25 fish initially and will increase or waive the limit if the run is like the last several years.