Puget Sound Salmon Fishery Expectations - Pricing on the Rise

30 September 2016, at 1:00am

US - The Puget Sound Fall Chum Salmon Fishery is set to get underway mid October and we expect pricing to be on the rise, reports Kyla Ganton in the Tradex Foods 3-Minute Market Insight.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has forecast just over 1.18 million Chum's to be caught in all areas up almost 20 per cent from the 950,000 Chum's forecast in 2015.

They estimate 490,000 to come from Hood Canal and 536,000 from Central/South Sound. We spoke to WDFW Puget Sound Commercial Salmon Manager Kendall Henry about their predictions for the upcoming Chum Fishery... Although she couldn't give us the crystal ball outlook - they did recommend an almost 20 percent increase in catch for the 2016 fishery.

To put the Puget Sound Fall Chum Salmon Fishery harvest into perspective preliminary harvest totals for Chums out of Bristol Bay Alaska in 2016 are 1,042,345 fish. Current pricing on Alaskan Chums range between $1.20/lb for Pale meat colour to $2.20/lb for GMC's and all the way up to the mid $3 range for value added Chums.

--- Alongside Chums the WDFW forecasted only 236,600 Coho's to be caught in 2016. This is down almost 70 per cent from the 738,500 Coho's forecasted in 2015 where actual harvest were only 38,800 Coho's.

However, as catch statistics are being processed, Kendall at WDFW let us know that Coho catches are actaully above forecast so far. There is a soft number that about 50,000 Coho's have already been caught just last month.

--- It's anyone's guess how the fall fishery in Puget Sound will turn out but if fishermen are able to harvest 100 per cent of WDFW's forecast it will exceed the 2016 Alaskan harvest for Chums. Our advice to buyers is to secure your Chum Salmon inventories now before pricing gets on the rise.