Copper River salmon forecast released
The Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) on Wednesday released its preliminary forecast for the 2012 Copper River and Prince William Sound salmon fisheries.
The Copper River fishery is expected to yield 27,000 kings and 1.43 million sockeye. ADF&G does not forecast for coho, but the average annual return in 350,000 fish.
The Copper River harvest marks the unofficial start of Alaska’s summer salmon season, usually opening in mid-May. Last year’s landings have not been finalized yet by the ADF&G, but the Copper River posted strong sockeye and king runs, with a smaller-than-average coho return.
Meanwhile, the Prince William Sound fishery is anticipated to produce 3.2 million pinks, 324,000 sockeye and 36,000 chum.
This year, biologists are establishing and managing for a higher escapement goal for both king and sockeye that has been used in previous years.