October 28, 2004
This season, commercial fishermen harvested 167.6 million salmon, which had an estimated total value of $235.8 million. Although the harvest was about 29 million fish below the preseason forecast, it was the ninth largest harvest on record and came close to the most recent 10-year average of 170 million fish. The total exvessel value of the 2004 salmon harvest was about $26 million higher than in 2003, but below the most recent 10-year average of $316 million.
Preliminary estimates of the statewide average prices for all salmon are similar to last year's exvessel prices. However, the final 2004 prices are likely to be higher after post-season adjustments and end-of-season bonuses are added.
Bristol Bay's sockeye salmon harvest of 26.2 million fish was 11.5 million fish higher than last year's harvest, but below the preseason forecast of 34.7 million fish. The exvessel value of $75.6 million was $28 million more than the 2003 Bristol Bay harvest.
Pink salmon runs were strong again in 2004. The Kodiak fishery harvested 21.4 million pink salmon, about 7.4 million more fish than last year's harvest. Cook Inlet's pink salmon harvest of 2.8 million fish was about three times the size of last year's harvest.
Salmon runs, especially chinook and coho salmon, were strong again this year in Southeast Alaska. The commercial chinook harvest of 474,000 fish was the largest in the last ten years and exceeded the 10-year average by 206,000 fish. The exvessel price for Southeast chinook salmon was also higher in 2004, $1.62 per pound compared to the 2003 price of $1.15.
The Chignik harvest of 697,000 sockeye salmon was similar to last year's harvest, but was well below the preseason forecast of 1.4 million fish.
Details on the numbers and pounds of fish, average fish weight, average price per pound, and exvessel value for each of the salmon species, by area as well as statewide, can be found on the ADF&G website under "2004 Preliminary Season Summary". Copies are also available from Mike Plotnick, who can be reached by phone at (907) 465-6133.
These estimates are considered preliminary. Some fisheries, such as the salmon troll fishery, are still in progress. Revised estimates will be produced in late spring of 2005 when fish ticket data has been finalized and ADF&G has received final prices from processors' annual reports.
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