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Strong Alaska Salmon Returns Expected

US - State fisheries biologists are predicting a respectable Cook Inlet sockeye salmon run and subsequent harvest this coming summer.

"The sockeye salmon forecast is a little above average," said Pat Shields, assistant area management biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game' Division of Commercial Fisheries.

According to department projections released earlier this month, the total sockeye salmon run is forecast at 6.4 million fish with a harvest expectation of 4.4 to 4.8 million fish.

The return to the Kenai River is forecasted to be 3.9 million, with 929,000 returning to the Kasilof River, 463,000 to the Susitna River, 131,000 to Crescent River, and 105,000 to Fish Creek.

That forecast is a welcome sign for many on the Kenai Peninsula and about a million more than the 2010 sockeye salmon harvest of 3.6 million by all user groups, just slightly below the 20-year average.

the Fish Site Editor

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