Coho, late run sockeye could help fishermen

Sockeye in stream. (Photo by Watershed_Watch / flickr)

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Late run sockeye and early run coho salmon could help soften the effect of a poor fishing season for some Alaska fishermen.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game Kodiak area manager James Jackson says sockeye looks on-track to meet the forecast of roughly 1.6 million fish for the late run.

He adds that the hatchery coho run will probably be above average and wild silver escapement is also looking strong.

“Hopefully some guys that are trying to make a season are out fishing right now to make up for fish that weren’t there the rest of the season. And silvers right now in the areas where we’re gonna offer up some opportunity. Yeah, early harvest and escapement numbers look pretty good.”

Jackson says although the coho run is looking optimistic, coho make up a small amount of the total Kodiak harvest.

He says a lot of that has to do with processing availability, since processors and tenders switch over to other fisheries at the same time.

“Or bad weather or losing tenders or just that time of year, the weather becomes worse, it’s harder for fishermen to keep crew. No that the fish aren’t always available, but it’s more difficult fishing.”

Jackson says the coho run tends to overlap with the late sockeye run, and the coho season starts to trail off towards mid-September.

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