The 2015 salmon harvest is projected to be 40% larger than last year. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game forecast released March 30 predicts the 2015 total commercial salmon catch at 220.9 million. That number includes 140.3 million pink, 58.8 million sockeye, 17.2 million chum, 4.6 million coho and 54,000 Chinook.
The Alaska all-species salmon harvest for 2014 totaled 157.9 million, which was about 25.3 million, or 19% more than the preseason forecast of 132.6 million. This combined harvest was composed of 95.8 million pink, 44.1 million sockeye, 11.3 million chum, 6.3 million coho and 487,302 Chinook.
The pink salmon harvest, the largest in volume, would be 46% higher than the harvest experienced in 2014 while the sockeye salmon harvest would be 33% higher. The chum harvest has the largest percentage increase, at 52%.
These projections reflect potential harvests for most of the major sockeye salmon fisheries as well as for large hatchery runs, including pink, sockeye, and chum salmon in the Southeast Alaska, Kodiak, and Prince William Sound areas. Fishing effort influences average catch levels, and effort is partly determined by market conditions and the size of salmon runs.