2009 Sockeye status updat
I just thought I would update people on the status of the late run sockeye. To date the harvest is about 1 million fish, escapements to Kenai are 75,000 and Kasilof 125,000. Crescent is not counted this year due to Redoubt and Yentna is not installed or available.
If you look at the drift flleet catch for yesterday it was not great but most of the fleet could not fish well because of heavy seas. So what the residual fish in the district is unknown but probably on the order of 400,000. That would make a total run to date of about 1.6 million. The mid-point of the return is usually 15 July so this run if on average run timing it looks like a forecasted return, which had 2.4 million going to Kenai.
Things can change fast and if run timing is late the run is larger and smaller if early. Some indication of run timing was made by ADF&G looking at other systems around the state and the historical run timing to UCI. From this relationship it would appear that UCI should be on time or early. We will see.
The next fishing period for the drift fleet is an open period on 16 July. That will be a major indicator of what Kenai is doing.
One more point - the offshore test fish program is catching lots of fish but that is not reflected in the run to date. The passage rate is very low as a result. So do not put much stock in large OTF catches.
Fish should hit the Kenai this weekend and if not the commercial fisheries boys will have a tough call on Sunday relative to the Monday period.