2 of 3 salmon harvested in Lower Cook Inlet is for Hatchery Cost Recovery

Statewide about 1 in 5 hatchery salmon are harvested for commercial cost recovery

Cost recovery is a primary method whereby hatcheries recovery their costs associated with producing hatchery salmon. Typically the first part of a hatchery salmon return is harvested for cost recovery, then once that hatchery expense is covered the remaining fish are available to the commercial common property fisheries. 99 percent harvested hatchery salmon are for hatchery and commercial fishing purposes. Statewide, of the overall harvest for commercial purposes, 18 percent is for commercial cost recovery and 82 percent is for commercial common property.

In the 2017 Alaska Salmon Fisheries Enhancement Annual Report, ADFG reports the hatchery contribution to Alaska fisheries by category:


Figure 8 from the 2017 ADFG Hatchery report.

  • 78 percent common commercial property harvest
  • 17 percent commercial cost recovery harvest
  • 4 percent – broodstock harvest and unharvested hatchery fish that presumably spawn with wild salmon
  • 1 percent sport, personal use and subsistence harvest
Chums and Pinks top two species for hatchery production

Statewide, by species, chum and pink salmon are top two species in terms of hatchery percent of salmon harvests. Figure 9 of the report shows the AK hatchery contribution to the statewide commercial fishery harvest, by species, from 2008 – 2017.

By species, Alaska hatchery fish contributed and annual average:

  • 66 percent of chum salmon
  • 40 percent of pink salmon
  • 23 percent of coho salmon
  • 20 percent of Chinook salmon
  • 5 percent of sockeye salmon
In Lower Cook Inlet, about 2 in 3 hatchery salmon are for commercial cost recovery

In the 2018 Lower Cook Inlet Commercial Salmon Fishery Season Summary, ADFG reports on the preliminary commercial cost recovery (hatchery) harvest and the commercial common property (commercial fishermen) harvest (Table 1 in the report).

In terms of hatchery cost recovery versus common property harvest, in LCI about 2 out of 3 pinks and sockeyes were harvested for cost recovery:

  • 64 percent of pink salmon was for hatchery cost recovery
  • 65 percent of sockeye salmon was for hatchery cost recovery
Lower Cook Inlet hatchery cost recovery is 3.5 times higher than elsewhere in Alaska

Whereas statewide 1 in 5 hatchery salmon are for commercial cost recovery, the percent in Lower Cook Inlet is much higher at 2 in 3 hatchery salmon. Hatchery cost recovery approximately is 3.5 times higher in Lower Cook Inlet than elsewhere in Alaska. Whereas elsewhere 80 percent of hatchery fish are available for the commercial common property harvest by commercial fishermen, in Lower Cook Inlet only one-third of the hatchery fish are available for commercial common property harvest.