PUBLISHED: 5:24 PM on Wednesday, October 15, 2008
State sees mixed returns for salmon harvest
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's overall harvest ranked 17th highest since statehood.

Fish tickets are still coming in to state fisheries officials and preliminary price information, average weights and poundage won't be released until November.

Still, it is significant to note that eight of the top 20 harvests overall have occurred in this century.

These include the 2007 overall salmon harvest, the fourth largest since statehood, at 213 million fish, and the preliminary 2008 harvest, at nearly 139 million fish, compared to a forecast of 132.5 million fish.

The king run was a major disappointment, with 305,000 harvested overall by commercial fleets, 55 percent below the forecast. The pink harvest was a disappointment in Southeast Alaska, where vessels harvested 15.6 million fish, after a forecast of 20.7 million pinks.

Prince William Sound fishers fared better, harvesting 40 million pinks, twice their forecast; and statewide, the total pink harvest was in excess of 80 million fish.