KODIAK, Alaska (AP) – A state report indicates that hatchery-produced salmon accounted for 21 percent of Alaska’s commercial harvest last year, the lowest percentage since 1995.

The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports the Alaska Department of Fish and Game found that the smaller catch of hatchery salmon was due to the stock of wild salmon making a strong return last year.

According to report the state department made public Thursday, the commercial harvest of wild salmon last year was the third highest on the state’s record with the harvests in 2013 and 2015 only higher.

Department management biologist James Jackson says the role of hatcheries is to supplement salmon harvest numbers when wild stocks are low, taking the “boom and bust out of wild salmon.”

Information from: Kodiak (Alaska) Daily Mirror, http://www.kodiakdailymirror.com

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