Copper River Run

Early numbers on returning sockeye salmon to the Copper River are not encouraging. Less than 64,000 sockeyes have gone past the Department of Fish & Game’s sonar tower. That is less than half the goal of 148,000 returning spawners, putting 2021 at 13th on the worst year list.

News of the returning numbers come as the personal use, dip net fishery will see its first open window on Thursday June 10. For 96 hours, permitted Alaskans can take home 25 salmon for the head of household, and an additional 10 for each dependent. Only one of these can be a king salmon. This first window will be 72 hours shorter than expected due to the low return.

Salmon prices are sky high right now, with kings going for $19.60 a pound, and sockeyes a respectable $12.60. In 2020 the salmon netted $6.00 and $4.00 respectively.

Commercial fisherman have seen three 12 hour fishing periods in May.

About icefogger

Just a basic, down to Earth, laid back type of guy here, who loves the outdoors, the indoors, jazz on the turntable, a fire in the woodstove, the northern lights blazing across the sky, and the company of good friends. View all posts by icefogger

4 responses to “Copper River Run

  • Mitch Zeissler

    I hate “liking” this, because the numbers are so bad.

    We have the same issues with fish and shellfish here in the Chesapeake Bay – the iconic blue crab is in serious trouble, the rockfish (Atlantic striped bass) is even worse, and the menhaden are on the brink of total collapse. All of this is due to a one-two punch of climate/environmental change and over-fishing.

    • icefogger

      It’s a devastating one-two punch. Alaska has, in the past, managed the fisheries well, but I have less confidence in them now. The special interest of commercial fishing has too big of an influence, at the detriment of the entire fishery. Add the by catch issue to that one-two punch, and I don’t see responsible management as a part of the plan.

      • Mitch Zeissler

        The same thing was happening here with the fisheries that I mentioned in my first comment – too much control was in the hands of the special interest groups.

        One crusty old Chesapeake waterman that I trust told me several years ago that his younger competition was following the blue crabs as they migrated into the Bay and associated waterways, harvesting them so thoroughly that they were essentially wiping out the harvest for the following year, then moaning and groaning about the lack of crabs in their waters.

        Stupid. Just unbelievably stupid and shortsighted.

      • icefogger

        It really is. Blows the mind.

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