The first official 55" fish of the season was bonked over the weekend by a guided tourist. Whatever compels anyone to kill these giant fire-engines is beyond me. "Cleansing the Kenai gene pool of its biggest and best brood stock... one hawg at a time!" So discouraging to see that it continues to happen when we all know better.
As Kenai kings go, it was a rather skinny fish with a girth of only 31 inches... much like that long, lanky supposed 88 pound "trophy" that ADFG later verified at just under 60 pounds earlier this month.
The late run continues to languish in the third week of July. Up to July 17 the cumulative count is only 11.6K.... you'd need half again as many fish to even come close to the historic average. As of yesterday's count of 776, the run is on track for an in-river return of only 27.4K An average year sees 41.2K swimming past the sonar. Typically we should be pushing 1800-2000 fish a day this time of year. That first big push is due any day now... any day.