Kuskokwim coho salmon run appears strong

Posted: Tuesday, July 25, 2000

BETHEL (AP) -- After enduring this year's extremely poor chum and king salmon runs, Kuskokwim River fishermen could be getting some good news on silver salmon.

The coho run appears to be strong, according to the state Department of Fish and Game.

But the agency is delaying any commercial coho openings until most of the chum salmon have reached their spawning grounds.

Charlie Burkey, area management biologist for Kuskokwim-area salmon, said the first possible commercial opening for coho won't be until sometime next week. By then, fewer chum will remain in the river to be caught as bycatch.

The preseason coho forecast for the Kuskokwim River ranged from 100,000 to 500,000 fish, which would constitute a below average to average run.

But the number of coho through the Bethel test fishery so far is average to above average, though Burkey said it's still too early to tell if the rest of the run will be as strong.

Coho returns on the Kuskokwim have been well below average during the last three years.

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