Copper River sockeye back on track after shut down
Some 843,000 sockeyes and 7,200 king salmon have been harvested to date in the Copper River District and a 36-hour commercial opener was under way 17 June on the heels of an abundant catch this past week.
For the 36-hour commercial opener that began 13 June the preliminary harvest estimate was 1,000 Chinook and 137,000 sockeye salmon, with an estimated 746 deliveries reported. This compared to an anticipated harvest of 47,000 reds and 500 kings for this period.
After a rough start, marked by rain and stormy season for the first opener, and then a 14-day shutdown on the district's commercial fishery, harvesters are happy to back on the grounds fishing, said James Mykland, of Cordova. That 14-day closure “was a very unique situation that has never happened before in my 36 years of fishing,” he said. “It was a unique situation because of the cold spring. The fish weren't traveling up the river because it was too cold. If the water is too cold, the fish won't go up.