Prince William Sound/Copper River Salmon Season Salmon Forecast

Cordova, Alaska —The Alaska Department of Fish and Game recently released their Prince William Sound/Copper River Salmon Forecast for the 2013 salmon season. In 2012, Copper River/Prince William Sound had a solid commercial fishing season with a larger than expected sockeye harvest and noticeable improvements in chilling and handling of Prince William Sound salmon thanks to guidelines created under the new Prince William Sound Quality Harvester Program.

It looks like 2013 is destined to be another strong year for this wild sustainable premier salmon from Alaska.

Copper River

For 2013, the forecasts are as follows:

  •     The Copper River king predicted total run is expected to reach 46,000 with an anticipated harvest of 20,000 kings. The season starts mid-May and runs until mid-June. Exact start date will be announced by ADF&G around May 1st.
  •     The Copper River sockeye predicted total run is expected to reach 2.24 million, with an anticipated commercial harvest of 1.3 million sockeye. If realized, this would be the 11th largest run since 1980. Based on scientific indicators, however, ADF&G biologists see a possibility for a much larger than forecasted run. The sockeye season starts around mid-May and runs through July.
  •     While no formal forecasts are made for Copper River coho, the ten year average forecast is 280,000 and recent years have fallen below that forecast. The coho season is August through mid-September.

Prince William Sound

For 2013, the forecasts are as follows:

  •     The Prince William Sound sockeye predicted total run for natural and enhanced stocks is expected to total 1.3 million.
  •     The PWS keta predicted total run for natural and enhanced stocks is 4 million. The anticipated commercial harvest of natural stocks is 300,000. No harvest projections are available for the enhanced stocks.
  •     The PWS pink predicted total run for natural and enhanced stock is 26.9 million.

ADF&G PWS Finfish Research Biologist Steve Moffit says there is a possibility of smaller than average pink returns due to colder ocean temperatures, larger sockeye returns based on the number of 4-year olds returning in 2012, and larger chum returns in Prince William Sound.

“We all look forward to the return of the Copper River season in May, and this year is no exception,” said Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association Executive Director, Beth Poole. “Last years’ sockeye were big and beautiful and fishermen are happy to see another strong forecast for this year. Both processors and markets saw an big improvement in quality of salmon in Prince William Sound last season and we aim to continue to improve this year.” Poole also noted that the Association is a useful resource for distributors, retailers and restaurants looking for promotional and point of sale materials regarding all species of Copper River and Prince William Sound salmon.

For additional information, see the ADF&G press release and Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation information.

For more info contact: Beth Poole, Executive Director
Copper River/PWS Marketing Association
Box 199, Cordova, Alaska 99574
t: 907.424.3459:: f: 907.424-3430



Source: Copper River/PWS Marketing Association