Chum Salmon Run Falling Short of Expectations

Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg

A major hatchery chum salmon run that provides early season opportunity for Southeast’s purse seine fleet is falling short of expectations.

Returns of dog salmon to the Hidden Falls Hatchery on Baranof Island have been lower than the pre-season forecast. The total return to the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association’s hatchery was expected to be 1.6 million chums. NSRAA General Manager Steve Reifenstuhl says that, as of July 7, they’ve only accounted for 20 percent of the forecast, or 334,000 fish.

Reifenstuhl says he thinks the run has almost reached its peak already, and says it’s not good news for people hoping to catch a lot of Hidden Falls chums.

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