Updated: Jun 19, 2018
As you may well know, we are still closed down from any fishing on the Copper River. I haven’t been able to look at the escapement numbers in the past three days but we are expecting an announcement from the Alaska Department of Fish & Game on Wednesday around 12:00pm ADT. As the escapement numbers have been seriously low, I personally do not expect an opener on the Copper River Delta anytime soon. It would take multiple days of counting 30-40k passage rates which would reveal a trend of a strong summer run push of sockeye. This has yet to be seen.
The only fishing we are able to do is taking place in Prince William Sound in two different gillnet districts. We have some large Keta (Chum) and some smaller than average sockeye being caught. Even these numbers are low but substantial enough to warrant commercial fishing opportunity. I will be fishing on Thursday from 8:00am to Friday morning 8:00am then running back to Cordova. These Prince William Sound sockeye are running fairly small with weight averages around 3.3 lbs. to 4 lbs this year.
What I think might be happening is these fish out-migrated in the years of 2015 and 2016 into that hot water blob that was out in the Pacific ocean. We have an anomalous two years of extreme El Nino’s that contributed to this. Some say it is all part of the global warming, which I am not too sure about. I can say that these El Nino events have been going on for many 100’s of years. The trend seems to be more apparent but this past year has been more normal than the last 3-5 years. Weather patterns and cycles do happen and we are seeing them.
Having said all of this, if you are interested in these sockeye, I would be happy to process orders from this up coming period. If you have an interest in the Keta (Chum) salmon, they have been running around 8-9.5 lbs. in the round. A very respectable sized fish. The overall run quality of these Keta (Chum) are good at this stage of the season. They are bright, big, good meat color and the scales are set very well. This is a species that many say would compare to Coho salmon if not even better. I have always wanted to offer our markets this species as we generally have great runs of Keta (Chum) salmon in Prince William Sound. For the most part, I am a Copper River guy and that game is presently closed down giving me the opportunity to participate in these fisheries.
The sockeye I would be able to offer would yield around >2.4 to 3 lbs, headed and gutted. I would only process the larger of these smaller than average fish, which is what has came back to our region this year. As for the Keta (Chum) salmon, they should finish out around >6 lbs, headed and gutted. As you know, your recovery would be around 25% less than the headed and gutted weights. Please contact Lori with your order. We would need to know if you would like to order no later than mid-day of Thursday or sooner as we still have to process the airline/UPS bookings for delivery. Our logistics have been quite challenging this year as well, so the earlier an order is place is much appreciated.
Be watching for a new Blog post we will be posting soon on the website and in our social media channels about our implementation of what could possibly be the final push on purveying the perfect eating salmon. This is a process called Ike Jime. Read my blog post to learn about this process and how I have integrated it into what we do. The results are absolutely amazing. At this juncture, I am the only fisherman in South Central Alaska that is pushing this hard on the quality bar for you.
Thanks for your consideration and as always, I am happy that you choose me to be your personal fisherman