With the bulk of the sockeye season over, biologists and fishermen have continued to notice smaller than average weight for one of Alaska’s most valuable exports.

Workers statewide from offices of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game noticed an early in-season trend of smaller-than-average fish. Throughout the state’s early season salmon fisheries, particularly sockeye and chum, fish were coming in shorter and lighter for their age

At the time in late June, Fish and Game lead fisheries scientist Eric Volk said the run was early and couldn’t yet be called a pattern. Now that the run’s peak has come and gone, along with a statewide commercial harvest of 52 million sockeye, biologists said the trend continued throughout the season, though salmon processor fish tickets won’t be able to verify the exact weights and trends until sometime in October.

Steve Moffitt was the Cordova Fish and Game management biologist who first noted the early season trend, and predicted that it would continue through the season.

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