Bristol Bay sets record value for 2019 salmon harvest

Bristol Bay salmon fishermen are set to take home their biggest paychecks ever.

The 2019 preliminary ex-vessel (dockside) value of $306.5 million for all salmon species ranks first in the history of the fishery, and was 248 percent of the 20-year average of $124 million, according to a statement from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The 2019 sockeye salmon run of 56.5 million fish was the fourth largest, and also the fifth consecutive year that inshore runs topped 50 million fish.

The all-species salmon harvest of 44.5 million is the second largest on record, after the 45.4 million taken in 1995. This year over 43 million of the Bristol Bay salmon harvest was sockeyes.

Here are the 2019 salmon base prices at Bristol Bay with comparisons to 2018:

Sockeye: $1.35 per pound, compared to $1.26 in 2018.

Chinook: 50 cents per pound, compared to 80 cents.

Chum: 25 cents per pound, down from 43 cents in 2018.

Silver:  55 cents per pound, vs. 80 cents.

The weight, harvest, and price of each species were used by state officials to estimate values, and do not include future price adjustment for icing, bleeding, or production bonuses.

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Laine Welch is an independent Kodiak, Alaska-based fisheries journalist. Click here to send her an email.

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