Red Salmon Return Early Ahead of Projections

A surge of red salmon is headed up the Copper River. Alaska Department of Fish and Game Glennallen area biologist Mark Sommerville says the early return is well ahead of the pre-season projection.

The state’s preseason Copper River salmon forecast calls for a strong red year. A little over 2 million sockeyes are expected, an increase over last year, and on the high side of the 10-year average.

The large early return triggered a supplemental harvest opportunity that takes place June 6-12, when the surplus fish are expected at Chitina. But there’s no supplemental harvest during the season’s first dipnet opening June 4-5.

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Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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