Kenai king numbers expected to fall

Posted: Monday, April 20, 2009

KENAI - The forecast for Kenai kings looks gloomy.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game said it's not only kings whose numbers are expected to be lower than normal, but reds, too.

For kings, Tim McKinley, research supervisor for the sportfish division of Fish and Game in Soldotna, said he's expecting an early run of 16,000, and a late run of 36,000 to 37,000 fish.

Average runs are 16,000 in the early run and 40,000 in the late run. McKinley said actual yields are usually within 10 to 20 percent of Fish and Game forecasts, but when dealing with numbers in the thousands, those percentages can equal quite a few fish.

Runs are forecast by looking at previous year's returns. Each summer, five different age classes return to the river.

Based on how many fish came through the previous year, forecasters can apply formulas that model mortality at sea to determine approximately how many fish from each age range will return the following summer.

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