Biologists Count King Salmon
For the first time this year fishery managers were able to conduct an official count of king salmon
ANCHORAGE – For the first time this year, fishery managers were able to conduct an official count of king salmon in Ship Creek.
Counting usually begins in the middle of June, but the unusual snow accumulation in the mountains this year made the creek rise to levels unseen for many years.
Because a formal count couldn’t be conducted, Fish and Game officials closed Ship Creek to anglers two weeks earlier than usual because of fears the kings weren't returning in healthy numbers.
Dan Bosch, the area management biologist, was happy to be able to conduct the first official count Wednesday.
He and another official counted 227 kings, but they were hoping to be closer to 750.
In past years, a count of 750 meant there were enough kings to fulfill the needs of the William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery.
The new hatchery is where the kings began their life, and where staff hope they will return so the cycle can continue.
Biologists said they're happy with the size of the fish which have returned - many are four years old.