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Salmon Returns Improving on Copper River

June 10, 2013|By Dan Carpenter | Channel 2 News

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Commercial Fishermen are on the Copper River once again after close to two weeks of closures by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. On Monday the river was open for 24 hours, the first all day opener of the season. The Copper River is known the world over for its Chinook and Sockeye but the fish markets have had to be patient this season after a late breakup. Before Monday there had been only 3 commercial openers on the river. Fish and Game said not enough fish were making it past sonar counter. A cold spring kept the river frozen longer than normal followed by a quick melt with fast and cool waters for the fish to navigate.

“It’s very unusual to keep the commercial fishery to be closed this long especially it was just kind of the perfect storm of conditions and passage,” said Jeremy Botz and Area Management Biologist with Fish and Game.

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With the warmer temperatures Fish and Game says the runs are starting to improve. Botz said Monday will likely break the daily record for the salmon finding their way past sonar and into the Copper River.

Contact: Dan Carpenter

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