The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s preseason projection called for a fall chum run size of 660 thousand fish, which would have been below average for an even-year fall chum run.
But Fish and Game Yukon Fall Season Manager Jeff Estensen said that once managers got a look at the summer chum run, the outlook for fall chum became quite a bit rosier.
“We do have a very good relationship between the summer chum run and the fall chum run looking back historically. And we can take the summer chum run, which came in very strong this year, stronger than we thought, and we were able to use that relationship to revise our preseason projection to between 800,000 to 900,000 fish. So it actually went up a little bit.”
With the stronger run size projection, fishery managers have, as of this week, opened subsistence fishing around the clock throughout much of the Yukon River drainage.