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Norton Sound silver run among lowest harvests in decades

A close-up view of a silver salmon, caught in a net.
Silver (coho) salmon. Photo: Sam Beebe via Flickr Creative Commons.

The commercial Silver harvest in the Norton Sound yielded the lowest numbers since 2002.

Jim Menard of Alaska Department of Fish and Game says this year ranked the 15th lowest in the 61-year history of commercial fishery in the Norton Sound. This trend follows suit from last year as well, which yielded far less than projected.

The run was “very poor,” Menard said.

The preliminary catch was 7,100 Silvers. That’s less than half caught in the commercial fishery last year.

This recent trend contrasts greatly to historic years. In 2019, the harvest yielded more than 130,000 Silvers, and the top four harvests of all time were in the last five years prior to that. The changes in the region are puzzling, leaving many open to wondering why runs have seen such poor results this year and last.

Commercial fishing was last open Sept. 1 and 2. As of Sept. 9, there has not been another announcement for commercial fishing to open again.

Image at top: Silver (coho) salmon. Photo: Sam Beebe via Flickr Creative Commons.

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