More than 4.6 million salmon have been harvested in the past week, almost 200,000 more fish than were taken during the same week in 2011. Using five-year averages, last week was the peak of the pink salmon run.
Since the salmon season opened June 9, 17.7 million salmon have been pulled from Kodiak waters. That figure is more than the point forecast of 17.1 million fish for the year but is still within the upper half of the forecast range.
While sockeye returns remain below average, a pink salmon run above expectations is lifting the overall salmon harvest.
By Saturday, just under 15 million pink salmon had been harvested, beating the preseason prediction of 13.2 million. Pink salmon numbers are beginning to drop off, however — from a peak of more than 700,000 fish early last week, only 300,000 pinks were harvested Saturday.
According to Fish and Game, the chum salmon harvest — 793,000 by Saturday — is average when compared to the past 10 years of fishing.
As pink salmon decline, silver salmon will be the next species to peak. Preseason forecasts call for almost 324,000 silvers; as of Saturday, 94,211 had been taken.