The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says the statewide commercial salmon harvest for 2011 is forecast to total 203 million salmon of all species.
This would be the fifth largest total harvest, and fourth highest pink salmon harvest, since Alaska became a state and took over the management of its fisheries in 1960.
All major pink salmon producing areas are expected to produce abundant harvests. Statewide sockeye and chum salmon are also expected to generate excellent harvests, with chum salmon predicted to provide the fifth largest harvest since 1960.
The statewide chinook salmon forecast is not yet available, because the Southeast Alaska shinook harvest quota is set under the terms of the Pacific Salmon Treaty. The Southeast Alaska quota will not be released by the Pacific Salmon Commission until late March or early April.
The 2011 harvest forecasts for the other four salmon species are 45.1 million sockeye salmon, 4.7 million coho salmon, 133.7 million pink salmon, and 19.2 million chum salmon.
These forecasts are based on quantitative projections of next year’s salmon run using information on previous spawning levels, smolt outmigrations, returns of sibling age classes, and recent survival rates observed for hatchery releases.
Look for in-season harvest information, postseason statistics, and other information about salmon in Alaska online at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=CommercialByFisherySalmon.main