The 2018 Copper River Salmon season is off and crawling.
The projected sockeye harvest for day one was 38,600 fish.
The actual landings were 1,900 fish.
The May 21st projected harvest was 80,100 fish.
The actual landings were 3,900 fish
By contrast the opening landings in 2017 were 36,000 sockeye on the first day.
The Alaska Dept of Fish and Game closed the June 4th opening for subsistence fishermen only.
The 2018 forecast for sockeye harvest in the Copper River Area is 1.2 million fish. That is up 37% from the 2017 pre-season estimate.
And, it is double the actual harvest for the area at 570,000 actual sockeye landed.
So the real question is how can this be so far off?
The peak of the Copper River fishery is historically June 1st.
Some are saying the run is just late.
Others feel the ocean temperatures are too cold, so the fish are staying out of the bay.
The ice is free and the river is flowing, so why aren’t the fish running?
Because they are not there.