Sockeye salmon run remains slow

A pair of spawning salmon. (Photo by Katrina Mueller / USFWS)

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The sockeye salmon run remains sluggish.

According to James Jackson, salmon biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Kodiak’s sockeye run is the slowest it’s been for the last 40 years. He writes that it ranks as the 6th worst harvest since 1970.

But Jackson says there’s still hope for the other fisheries and the sockeye fishery.

“The chum salmon returns so far at the hatchery look above forecast or about forecast, so hopefully that is the same in the wild run, and once the pink run’s done, we also have late run sockeye, and so hopefully, if the early run doesn’t come into fruition, then the late run will come in.”

The average harvest on this date is usually 300,000 to 450,000 sockeye according to data from ADF & G. Kodiak was at 45,000 fish as of yesterday.

ADF & G recently closed sport and subsistence sockeye salmon fishing at Buskin River and Afognak Bay. The escapement has seen a slight uptick at the Buskin over the last few days, but it’s still far below the minimum escapement goal of 5,000 fish which would be required to open subsistence fishing.

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