Sockeye Counts Average at Cape Wislow

Wednesday, June 19 2013

Sockeye Salmon, courtesy of ADF&G

The sockeye are running out at Cape Wislow, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is keeping a close eye on the numbers.

ADF&G set up a weir at McLees Lake on June 5, and has already counted 3,500 salmon making their way upstream. Assistant Area Management Biologist Nat Nichols says that’s a pretty average return for this time of year.

“About a third of the way to the lower end of our escapement goal. The goal is 10,000 to 60,000.”

The McLees Lake run is an important subsistence fishery for Unalaska. Last year, 92 percent of the area’s subsistence harvest, or 4,347 fish, came from the run.

Although weak runs have forced the closure of the subsistence fishery at Wislow in the past, Nichols isn’t anticipating anything like that this year.

“The only restriction that’s currently in place is for all years, and that’s between July 1 and July 9, there’s a 500 yard closure around the mouth of the creek.”

The McLees Lake weir is staffed through a grant from the Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund.

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