Prince William Sound Sockeye - A Healthy Harvest

Jul 10, 2012

Prince William Sound Sockeye Season:

A Healthy Harvest Has Begun

July 5, 2012

For Immediate Release:

The Prince William Sound sockeye salmon season is in full swing.  Treasured for their deep red color, firm texture, and rich flavor, Alaskan sockeye is a favorite among savvy home and professional cooks. The fillets retain their brilliant color when cooked and are well suited to grilling and other simple preparations. Prince William Sound is home to a healthy wild Alaska sockeye fishery and the season is off to a  strong start this year.

Jeremy Botz, Gillnet Area Management Biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, predicts the 2012 Prince William Sound sockeye harvest to be 1.52 million fish. As of July 9, 1.2 million sockeye were harvested by the districts’ commercial driftnet fishermen.  According to Botz, the Prince William Sound sockeye are arriving, on average, even larger than the Copper River District sockeye, which have been noticeably plumper than normal (

Prince William Sound, which sits west of the Copper River Delta in the Gulf of Alaska, is a protected water system that boasts a complex coastline, glacier-hewn fjords, rain forest-blanketed islands, and an array of marine life. Each year, the region boasts an annual harvest of more than 74 million fish with fishermen catching all five species of pacific salmon. From Pink and Keta to King, Sockeye and Coho, the region provides a sustainable wild Alaska salmon flavor and price point for every salmon lover.There are 570 drift and set gillnet permit holders for the Prince William Sound sockeye fishery and fishermen are focused on icing, bleeding and quick deliveries to preserve quality and freshness.news03.jpg

Danny Carpenter, the captain of the F/V Quicksilver,  is a longtime commercial fisherman in the Sound. Looking at this year’s harvest, he notes that, “They're bigger and more beautiful than I've ever seen them. We cooked some up for dinner on the boat the other day and it was delicious." While many fishermen switch back and forth between the Copper River and PWS districts at this time of year, Carpenter has been fishing in the Sound since June 13 and will likely stay put, fishing each day, until the end of July when the run finishes up.

For additional information on the Prince William Sockeye season, please visit or  contact Beth Poole, Executive Director  of the Copper River/PWS Marketing Association in Cordova at (907) 424-3459.