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2014 Copper River Plans

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  • 2014 Copper River Plans

    ...tired of dreaming; time to start thinking...

    Current Snowpack

    NOAA Temperature Outlook

    Early Season Historical Data


    Below normal snowpack, higher than normal predicted temperatures, huge numbers of 2 and 3 year old fish...

    Plan A:
    Thinking about hitting the subsistence opening June 1st above the bridge. If melt conditions are gradual through May and accelerate through June, I'll want to be there before the river rises.

    It was really tough two years ago to watch reds and kings going by in droves at Salmon Point before the opener, knowing the fish wheels were loading up, only to have a huge deluge of water and debris shut fish movement down.

    Plan B:
    Just go when Jerod does.
    Last edited by gr8fl; 04-21-2014, 10:25. Reason: links to graphics

  • #2
    Chitina and dipnetting on the brain....must be spring. I went very early last year just to have a shot at a king that I could keep.
    Got lucky and hit as many reds as I needed plus enough for proxie. One and done and in June.
    I'll be booth sitting a little bit at the Chitina Dipnetters Association at the Outdoor Show here in Fairbanks this weekend so what little bit of dipping fever I have now will soon be heating up.
    Last years early trip panned out so may do it again. At least if I don't get much there is still plenty of summer lefn'tt and another drive to Chitina for a 2nd attempt would be bad. Enough that drive almost as much as the dipping.
    Paul Holland
    Board Member Chitina Dipnetters Association
    chitinadipnetters dot com


    • #3
      Excellent point! If you go early and don't limit, you get to go again...


      • #4
        Planning for two trips this year. Would like to get down early and get my king, but it looks like the rest of our crew won't be able to go down until the second run heads up in July. I'll plan to head back down with them regardless if I get my limit in June or not.

        I like your plan B


        • #5
          Originally posted by Jerod View Post
          Would like to get down early and get my king,...
          Yep, those three gentlemen from Delta in the little skiff last summer got to the point [fishing the subsistence permit above the bridge] that they complained they were catching too many kings and needed more reds. Our boat ratio was 1 king to 4 reds on the early trip.


          • #6

            Ready for activation:


            • #7
              Copper King Forecast

              The department did not generate a formal Chinook salmon total run forecast between 1998 and 2007 because of inadequate estimates of inriver abundance or spawning escapement. Forecasts made prior to 1998 used aerial survey indices adjusted to approximate the total escapement. These forecasts performed poorly, especially after the number of aerial surveys was significantly reduced in 1994. In 1999 the Sport Fish Division of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game began a mark-recapture program to estimate the inriver abundance of Chinook salmon. The Native Village of Eyak became a collaborator on the project and eventually took the lead role. There are currently 15 years (1999–2013) of inriver abundance estimates.

              The 2014 total run forecast point estimate of 62,000 is ~6.5 thousand less than the 15-year average total run size (1999– 2013 average = 68.5 thousand). However, this forecast is considerably larger than total runs since 2008, which have ranged from 33–54 thousand. Several lines of evidence suggest that the 2014 Chinook salmon run will be larger than in recent years. Most importantly, the 2013 estimated run of age 1.2 fish (6,700) was the largest since 2006 (9,600). Since 1975, a run of this many age-1.2 fish has never been followed by fewer than approximately 44,000 age-1.3 fish. There was a record percentage of age-1.1 fish (jacks) harvested upriver indicating the possibility of a strong run of age-1.2 fish in 2014. Finally, brood tables suggest that the weakness in recent runs was generally associated with fish from the 2004 and 2005 brood years, which have now all returned. If realized, the 2014 forecast total run would rank 24th in the recent 35 annual runs (since 1980).


              • #8
                2014 Copper Red Predictions

                The 2014 run will be composed primarily of returns from brood years 2009 and 2010. Five-year-old fish (brood year 2009) are expected to predominate Copper River Delta and upper Copper River runs. The Copper River Delta escapement indices for 2009 (68,622) and 2010 (83,285) were within the SEG range of 55,000 to 130,000.
                The Gulkana Hatchery run will include fish from Crosswind Lake smolt migrations of 1.4 million fish in 2011 (3rd largest in 24 years) and 0.97 million in 2012 (13th largest). For brood years 1993–2010 the average migration from Crosswind Lake was 1.3 million smolt. The run will also include 4-year-old fish from a moderate Summit Lake smolt outmigration (314,911 or 12th largest in 29 years) and 5-year-old fish from the small smolt outmigration (94,123 or 19th largest).
                The 2014 total run forecast (2.56 million) is similar to the recent 5-year average total run (2.57 million). If realized, the 2014 forecast total run would be the 8th largest in the last 35 years (since 1980). The 2.09 million natural run would be below the recent 5-year average (2.14 million), and a 0.47 million Gulkana Hatchery run would be slightly above the recent 5-year average (0.42 million). The natural run forecast is driven by the large 4-year-old (age-1.2) fish estimate in 2013 (623 thousand; largest since 1965) and the subsequent prediction for 5-year-old (age-1.3) fish in 2014. There have been 7 additional years with run estimates of age-1.2 fish greater than ~400,000. The return of age-1.3 fish the following year has been significantly larger than expected in 6 of the 7 years. The enhanced run forecast is driven by moderate smolt outmigration numbers from both Crosswind and Summit lakes, but recent good survivals. The influence of environmental factors including the cooler ocean temperatures that have predominated since September 2007, and the El Niño event (August 2009 to May 2010) are factors that increase the uncertainty in the 2014 run projection. However, the main factor in the uncertainty of this forecast is inputs to the model to predict the age-1.3 return are outside the range of our historical data.


                • #9
                  Ready to Predict

                  As always, use at your own risk:


                  • #10
                    Ill be there this year gr8ful


                    • #11
                      Fish in the River

                      Just check the Eyak fishwheel numbers. Fish are already going through Baird Canyon, unless the numbers are fake...


                      • #12
                        gr8fl I tried to send you a personal message... but I don't think it went threw.... I tried to do it on my small cheap smartphone.... if you're going to do plan a ..... I would like to meet and talk to you in chitina...... my plan if I can get it together.... is to be there from the 30th of this month ..... threw June 2nd possibly longer... brother Francis


                        • #13
                          Brother man, it went through fine. I will be there at the same time and looking forward to meeting you. I plan on being there until I get tired or catch too many fish, whichever comes later.

                          The boat is full, but I will be able to rotate you in if you're going to fish above the bridge.

                          Check your Inbox for my cell phone #.



                          • #14
                            Early run fish

                            The upper river sockeye that travel furthest—in some cases as far as 300 miles upstream—enter the river when water flows are low and less energy is required to swim against the current. Delta stocks migrate 30 miles or less to reach their spawning grounds and generally enter the river last. ADF&G Fishing Research
                            FYI. As soon as those first fish hit the river, they are on a mission.


                            • #15
                              thanks for the info.... anybody heard any sonarr numbers?... Thursday is first commercial opening... should be interesting... I would think the run should be early this year


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