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Alaska Forecast Large Salmon Harvest

US - A bumper run of pinks could provide a 20 per cent boost to Alaska's total salmon catch this year to 175 million fish. If the forecast holds true, Alaska's salmon harvest this year will be the 11th largest since statehood.

State fishery managers have released the 2009 salmon run forecasts and catch projections for all Alaska regions, reports SitNews. The news organisation breaks the data down by species. For Chinook salmon, the total catch is pegged at 249,000, a decrease of 85,000 fish from last year. The statewide sockeye catch is projected at 38 million, a drop of one million reds from last season. The preseason projection for coho salmon call for a slight increase to 4.6 million silvers; likewise, chums should see a slight bump to 18.5 million fish.

For those hard to predict humpies, state managers estimate the catch will jump to 113 million pink salmon, a 34 per cemt increase from last year.

The state report also gives a great recap of the 2008 salmon season by region. Some interesting highlights: The salmon catch at Southeast Alaska and Yakutat regions totaled 28 million fish, with a dockside value of $117 million. Landings were made by 1,853 permit holders, a slight decrease.

At Copper River, the 2008 sockeye salmon catch of 321,000 was the lowest in 30 years. The near record 42.4 million pink salmon catch at Prince William Sound was made up of 97 per cent hatchery raised fish.

the Fish Site Editor

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