Sockeyes are finally here - IN RECORD NUMBERS!
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http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/FishCounts/index.cfm?ADFG=main.displayResults&COUNTLOCATIONID=40&SPECIESID=420&YEAR=2011,2010 On July 17, 2011, after a dismal looking start of the sockeye season, the count went into the stratosphere at 231,000 fish (a record). The counts continued to be extremely high for the next week. We fished four of the next eight days, getting up at 3 am, driving 1 1/2 hrs to Soldotna, and on the river by 5:30. This fishing stuff is hard work! Catching a 28" fighting sockeye in thigh high river current water is quite a challenge, and the eating is "mah-velous"! The AK Fish & Game had originally estimated the sockeye number in the entire Cook Inlet to be around 5 million this year, but they now think it to be more like 10 million, a very unusual year. Lucky us, and the commercial fishing boats! We also went on a king salmon charter drift boat one day, but didn't catch a king (one gentleman in the boat did though, one king caught for 8 hrs fishing with four people!). View the video I took to get an idea of HOW MANY BOATS are on the Kenai fishing for Kings during July. We also took one last halibut trip, and caught our limit of 2 each to fill up the freezer again (after shipping much fish to family!)The Alaska Fish & Game has a website where they post daily fish counts taken by sonar on the various rivers. This link is for the sockeye salmon in the Kenai River.