Reds retreat, but pinks are coming

Here are some key stats as we enter the middle innings of the 2011 commercial salmon season.

• The total catch, all species, stands at just over 53 million fish, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game reported today. That's about a quarter of the way toward the season forecast of 203 million.

• The Bristol Bay sockeye catch is coming up well short of forecast. The harvest through Thursday stood at 20.4 million reds, with 8.5 million taken in the Naknek-Kvichak District. The run took a nosedive in recent days, and now fishermen are pulling their boats and hopping planes for home. The state had predicted a catch of 28.5 million sockeye. Deckboss hasn't heard anything yet about prices.

• Pink salmon catches are starting to come on. The statewide tally is 16.7 million pinks, with Prince William Sound accounting for most of them. Still a long way to go, obviously, to reach the forecast of 133.5 million.

• Chum salmon catches are mixed, with 5.1 million taken so far statewide on a forecast of 19.5 million. Chum runs are ranging from horrible at the Hidden Falls Hatchery near Sitka to excellent way up in Norton Sound.