ADF&G predicts weak pink salmon harvest in 2019

The 2019 Southeast Alaska pink salmon harvest is predicted to be weak once again, according to a forecast released Thursday by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The forecast estimates a harvest of 18 million pink salmon, which is roughly half of the recent 10-year average. If the forecast is accurate, 2019 would be the lowest odd-year pink harvest since 1987.

The Gulf of Alaska experienced a warm water anomaly known as “the blob” from 2013 to 2016. Pink salmon that went to sea during those years returned in low numbers.

According to the forecast released by fish and game, although water temperature in the Gulf of Alaska returned to normal in 2017, effects of the blob on pink salmon have persisted. The report goes on to say that the return of warm water temperatures to the North Pacific in 2018 may have a negative impact on the future survival of pink salmon.