Area M posts strong 2015 sockeye catch

Sep 16, 2015

Area M fisheries are winding down, and the preliminary numbers show a strong sockeye harvest there this year.

Credit Courtesy Alaska Department of Fish and Game

DILLINGHAM: This summer's Area M sockeye catch was almost double the 2014 catch at about 6 million fish. KDLG's Molly Dischner reports:

Rough Audio Transcript:

About 2.7 million sockeye were caught on the Northern Alaska Peninsula this summer, more than the 2 million forecast, including about 2.3 million from the Outer Port Heiden to Port Moller region, which many consider an intercept fishery. Bob Murphy is the area management biologist in Port Moller.

"I think this is one of our better harvests, if not the best that we've had in the Outer Port Heiden section.  We've had harvests in the ballpark of 700,000 some years, this was about 900,000, and there were definitely just more fish available to the fleet in 2015."

Murphy says area river systems had strong returns this year as well.

"Nelson River exceeded its escapement goal for sockeye, Bear River was within its escapement goal for sockeye, Sandy River had one of the better escapements in history, the 21 years or so we've had a weir there, it went almost double over its escapement goal."

Fishing is wrapping up now, with just a catcher/processor or two still active on the South Peninsula. Murphy says the last buyer finished up in Port Moller a week or so ago.