State biologists are forecasting a much leaner commercial salmon fishing season in Alaska this summer.
Last year, fishermen caught 268 million salmon, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Biologists this year are expecting 161 million salmon to be harvested, a nearly 40 percent decline.
The big drop is mostly due to fewer pink salmon expected to return.
“Pinks typically have a strong year and then a weaker year. It’s an even-odd cycle. 2016 is an even year so we’ll have fewer pink salmon returning. That’s really what’s driving everything in that report,” said Richard Brenner, a fishery biologist who co-authored the report.