Pinks are the key to fulfilling season's salmon forecast

By LAINE WELCH

Salmon season is winding down and it's still a guess if the statewide catch will reach the 132 million fish forecast. Achieving that all comes down to those hard-to-predict pinks, whose catch makes up more than half of the total harvest.

      "I think it's going to be close. It all depends on what happens with the pink salmon runs in the three major producing areas: Prince William Sound, Kodiak and Southeast," said Geron Bruce, assistant director of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's commercial fisheries division. 

      This summer a catch of 70.2 million pinks was forecast, down 40 percent from last year. So far, the Kodiak pink catch has topped 15 million, with 16 million at Southeast and nearly 25 million pinks taken at Prince William Sound. That brings the total Alaska humpy harvest to more than 56 million so far.

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