Sunday, November 13, 2016

Pink Salmon...The New King of the River?

JoRay Delacruz
2016 was quite the year for the Kenai pink salmon. Although the total size of the run was below average, the size of the fish were HUGE. So big that in one day the state record that stood for 42 years was broken twice. The new state record is 13 pounds, 10.6 ounces. This broke the old record by more than a pound. Just to give a little perspective, ADFG has a trophy fish program and the minimum weight to qualify a pink salmon is 8 pounds.

Your Blogger and Guide
The story goes that on August 22nd a gentleman caught a large pink salmon and brought it to the ADFG office to have it certified as a trophy. Lo and behold he found out it broke the state record that that was set in 1974. A few hours later, another gentleman brought a pink salmon into ADFG to have it officially weighed. He was told he broke the record that was broken that very morning. Crazy.

Gary Blinn
So, why the run of big fish? The only theory that I heard that makes sense came from my friend Francis. He said less fish, more pasture. This theory is definitely supported by the fact that the commercial fishing industry harvested 197 million pink salmon in 2015, and only 40 plus million this year.

Will Robertson
The funny thing about 2016 is I spoke to quite a few fisherman/guides that all swore they caught or saw a pink larger than the new state record. Maybe, maybe not because none of these fish were officially weighed. But, I have no doubt that lots of huge pinks were swimming in the river this year.

Can't wait for 2018 to come to see if this is a new trend or just a one time anomaly.

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service

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