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The Westside fisheries on Kodiak Island broke out of a multi-year slump that was straining fishermen, especially setnetters who are unable to reasonably transfer districts. Sockeye underperformed forecasts by 20% with a harvest of 2.17M, but not too far off the 10 year average of 2.43M. Pinks were the bright spot for the island, exceeding forecasts by 25%, with a total harvest of 16.62M; leaving room for improvement, the harvest falls short of the 10 year average of 20.53M. One area that fell substantially short was the coho harvest at 183K, 56% of forecast, though, this smaller fishery is of much less value than the pink and sockeye.
Area M, representing the Peninsula and Aleutians, had a rough salmon season. Nelson Lagoon experienced such dramatic returns that the Aleutians East Borough has asked for disaster protection. The harvests of 75K were only 50% of the preseason forecast, and 34% of the 5-year average, and the past three years have not been strong. Personal accounts from the Sand Point fleet report that the early season sockeye catches saved their season from being a total bust, as the season never really got going again after June. In aggregate, if the preseason forecast of 2.3M would have been met, this would have been one of lower harvests since 1978; the 50% interval is in the range of 5M to 7.2M. Unfortunately, the total pink harvest of 489K was only 21% of the 2.3M forecast. The nearly 2M sockeye harvest was 800K less than last year. Further up the line in Chignik, strong sockeye runs continue to surprise, surpassing the strong harvest forecast of 1.68M with an actual harvest of 1.82M sockeye.