Copper River Salmon Harvest is at 700,500 Fish and Climbing

The sixth opener on the famed Copper River wild salmon
fishery is underway, and more salmon harvests are on the way, from Prince
William Sound to Bristol Bay, Kodiak, Yakutat and the South Alaska Peninsula.
Statewide, the estimated wild salmon harvest now exceeds
777,000 fish, including 10,000 fish in the Southeast Alaska spring troll
fishery that began May 1.
At the conclusion of the fifth opener of the Copper River
fishery on May 31, the 36-hour opener harvest was estimated at 190,000 sockeye,
1,200 king and 1,700 chum salmon in 36 hours. That brought the overall harvest estimate
to 672,000 sockeyes, 5,500 Chinooks and 23,000 chum salmon, according to Jeremy
Botz, a biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s office in
The Copper River harvest for the same date a year ago was
about the same, but accomplished in three openers, rather than five, Botz
The weather for the fifth opener began in a relatively mild
manner, but kicked up on the second day and then to 30-40 knot winds and six-
foot seas, Botz said.
Meanwhile, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game noted that
the Coghill District drift fishery and Eshamy District drift and set net
fisheries opened on May 29, with an estimated overall harvest of 6,000 salmon,
most of them chums, in the Coghill District, and fewer than 1,000 chum in

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