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#1037505 - 09/02/20 09:54 AM Alaska Pink Crash
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3547
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope
This might be of interest to some folks. It does make one wonder.



Southeast’s pink salmon catch could be lowest in 44 years
September 1, 2020 by Joe Viechnicki, KFSK - Petersburg

Two years ago, the commercial catch of pink salmon in Southeast Alaska hit its lowest level in more than four decades. This year’s catch will be even lower.

Pinks are caught mostly by the purse seine fleet. Some seiners have finished for the summer, and others have headed to the Sitka area to chase hatchery chums.

Andy Piston is the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s pink and chum salmon project leader for Southeast. He said the catch by late August had topped six million fish and was expected to finish around seven million pinks by the end of the season.

“It looks like it’s going to come in a little below the 2018 parent year harvest, which was about 8.1 million, and that’ll be one of the lowest harvests since the mid-1970s. So it’s definitely a historic very poor pink salmon harvest,” Piston said.

At that level, this year’s catch will be the lowest since 1976.

Scientists had predicted a poor return, with a point forecast of 12 million fish going into the season. Low numbers of returning pinks in the northern panhandle forced closed fishing areas again this summer, to allow fish to return to spawning streams. In management terms, those fish making it back to streams are called escapement.

Piston said most of this year’s catch came from the southern part of the region.

“Escapements in the southern districts generally looked pretty good,” he said. “As you moved north, though, things are considerably weaker, especially when you get into northern inside waters, north of Sumner Strait. And there we had very little fishing opportunity in northern inside waters. There was almost no harvest up there, so we were trying to get fish toward escapement. In some areas it sounds like there was a little bit of improvement over the parent year, but the overall pink return up there was still very low, and it looks like escapements are still going to be below management targets for a lot of stock groups up in that area.”

Pink salmon return to spawn every two years. The parents of this year’s fish returned in low numbers. Those fish also spawned during a long-term drought, which may have impacted the 2020 returns.

Two years ago, a bumper crop of hatchery chum salmon made up for the poor pink numbers. That’s not the case this year. 2020 may see one of the lowest chum salmon catches in decades.

In fact, catches for all salmon species in Southeast are lagging this year. Sockeye catches are 70% below last year’s and among the lowest ever. Coho catches are almost 50% behind last year. Catches of king salmon are the closest, just 14% off the pace from 2019.

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Edited by Rivrguy (09/02/20 09:55 AM)
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#1037507 - 09/02/20 10:07 AM Re: Alaska Pink Crash [Re: Rivrguy]
Todd Offline
Bumpin the 6X9's

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 26548
Loc: Seattle, Washington USA
"They're just late"

Fish on...

Todd

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#1037509 - 09/02/20 10:32 AM Re: Alaska Pink Crash [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 5967
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Maybe they are beginning to pay the piper for the pink hatcheries. The massive releases have been implicated in declines of a variety of species across the N Pacific..

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#1037510 - 09/02/20 10:35 AM Re: Alaska Pink Crash [Re: Carcassman]
Todd Offline
Bumpin the 6X9's

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 26548
Loc: Seattle, Washington USA
Originally Posted By: Carcassman
Maybe they are beginning to pay the piper for the pink hatcheries. The massive releases have been implicated in declines of a variety of species across the N Pacific..


When you send billions of chum and pink fry into the N. Pacific they have to eat something...and that something is the exact same thing that sockeye fry eat, and then when they get bigger it's the exact same thing that every other fish eats.

Some day we will learn that massive industrial hatchery programs eventually eat themselves, I just hope we have some fish left to do it responsibly with once we learn.

Fish on...

Todd

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#1037512 - 09/02/20 11:29 AM Re: Alaska Pink Crash [Re: Rivrguy]
WDFW X 1 = 0 Offline
My Area code makes me cooler than you

Registered: 01/27/15
Posts: 3672
China ate em.

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#1037521 - 09/02/20 05:31 PM Re: Alaska Pink Crash [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 5967
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
It's not just that the pinks screw the fish. They are screwing the plankton, SRKWs, and trans-hemispheric seabirds. The whole damn ecosystem. But hey, the fisheries are more important.

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#1037525 - 09/02/20 06:44 PM Re: Alaska Pink Crash [Re: Rivrguy]
RUNnGUN Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 1071
IMO pinks and chums suck. Don't understand the commercial value other than huge harvest on investment. Why even bother? Pump up Chinook and Coho! Economies of scale will catch up over time and produce a higher quality product.


Edited by RUNnGUN (09/02/20 06:44 PM)
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“Smart people only believe half of what they hear. Smarter people know which half to believe”

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#1037530 - 09/02/20 07:43 PM Re: Alaska Pink Crash [Re: RUNnGUN]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3547
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope
RG You should bone up a bit on cost / benefit ratios as your really out to lunch on this. Followed up by ditching your PNW view of how commercial harvested fish are utilized. This is a world market thing. https://olmafood.com/store/chum-salmon-r...ASAAEgJQpPD_BwE
is interesting,

https://globalseafoods.com/blogs/video/chum-salmon-caviar-recipe will give you a read on why it is so valuable.

Here is a search that if you look at the prices you can better understand.
https://www.google.com/search?q=cavaiar+...me&ie=UTF-8


Edited by Rivrguy (09/02/20 07:52 PM)
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#1037531 - 09/02/20 07:49 PM Re: Alaska Pink Crash [Re: Rivrguy]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3547
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope

Took me a bit to find this if you think you have a thought or two on this subject this is a must read. Not a long article but the economics are lined out.

http://www.alaskafishradio.com/alaska_-salmon_-roe_-forecasts_roe_-prices_-on_-the_-increase/
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#1037536 - 09/02/20 08:14 PM Re: Alaska Pink Crash [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 5967
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Pinks and chums are also the cornerstone of the freshwater ecosystem. Plus, coho require one year in freshwater; the cost of providing water and not ice is very expensive, It's not like here where the watershed doesn't freeze up.

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#1037537 - 09/02/20 08:17 PM Re: Alaska Pink Crash [Re: Rivrguy]
RUNnGUN Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 1071
Yep. Totally forgot about the egg profits. Actually, historically speaking, excessive egg taking is generally the beginning of the demise of species.
_________________________
“Smart people only believe half of what they hear. Smarter people know which half to believe”

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#1037541 - 09/02/20 08:55 PM Re: Alaska Pink Crash [Re: RUNnGUN]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3547
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope
Quick read on AK hatcheries.Today, there are 25 hatcheries operated by PNP corporations. The State of Alaska also operates two sport fish hatcheries in Fairbanks and Anchorage that produce Chinook salmon, rainbow trout, coho salmon and Arctic char for sport harvest.

You need to C&P this one: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=wildlifenews.view_article&articles_id=775#:~:text=Today%2C%20there%20are%2025%20hatcheries,Arctic%20char%20for%20sport%20harvest.

This a read on the financing and philosophy. https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishingHatcheries.main

I will finish up with this link. One has to understand the PNP structure to understand how important it is to AK citizens. In WA we the tax payer support the hatcheries but in AK it is mostly the users. https://pwsac.com/hatcheries/


Edited by Rivrguy (09/02/20 08:59 PM)
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Dazed and confused.............the fog is closing in

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#1037544 - 09/03/20 07:23 AM Re: Alaska Pink Crash [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 5967
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
For quite a while, the PNP facilities were rather close to the model of how to have hatcheries and wild fish. A concept lost in the lower 48. The PNPs concentrated fisheries where the hatchery fish returned; few HORs were found on the grounds and NOR escapements were at ecologically appropriate levels. The current demise is coming about because the N Pacific can no longer support that amount of juvenile mouthes to feed. Whether it ever could is a different question but now, with climate change, massive changes in the N Pacific, and harvest all up and down the food chain there isn't enough to go around.

There needs to be a paradigm shift.

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