Early salmon prices point to good paydays across Alaska

Salmon prices are starting to trickle in as more sales are firmed up by local buyers, and early signs point to good paydays across the board.

At Bristol Bay last week, Trident, Ocean Beauty and Togiak Seafoods posted a base price of $1.25 a pound for sockeyes, according to KDLG in Dillingham. Trident also was paying a 15 cent bonus for reds that are chilled and bled, and the others may follow suit.

Copper River Seafoods raised its sockeye price from $1.30 to $1.70 for fish that is chilled/bled and sorted.  That company also reportedly is paying 80 cents a pound for coho salmon and 45 cents for chums and pinks.

The average base price last year for Bristol Bay sockeyes was $1.02 a pound, 65 cents for cohos, 30 cents for chums and 18 cents a pound for pinks.
Kodiak advances were reported at $1.60 for sockeyes, 55 cents for chums and 40 cents for pinks. That compares to average prices of $1.38 for sockeyes, 40 cents for chums and 31 cents for Kodiak pinks in 2017.

At Prince William Sound a sockeye base price was reported at $1.95 and chums at 95 cents.

At Norton Sound the single buyer was advancing 80 cents a pound for chums and $1.40 for cohos, same as last year, and 25 cents for pinks, an increase of 22 cents.

Salmon fishermen at Kotzebue were getting 40 cents for chums, down from 48 cents, but that price is expected to increase when a third buyer comes on line.

The weekly summary from the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game said that Southeast trollers were averaging $8.48 for Chinook salmon, an increase of $1.15 over last year. Troll caught cohos were at $1.64, a 16 cent increase and chums were paying out at 90 cents, up 13 cents from 2017.

All prices are likely to change when more sales are made in coming months.

Alaska’s total salmon catches are still down by one-third compared with the statewide harvest topping 70 million fish by July 27. Nearly 42 million of the salmon were sockeyes from Bristol Bay.

About the author

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

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