Sockeye Runs Have Mixed Results In Alaska

Sockeye salmon photo by ADFG

Alaska Public Media published a report today about some uneven sockeye salmon returns, which turned out to be good runs in some areas (Bristol Bay) and less than satisfactory numbers in others (Kenai and Copper Rivers).

There are a few theories that the article suggests, including the impact of pink salmon, which we’ll also have a report on in our September issue. Here’s one such idea mentioned in today’s report:

In Southeast Alaska, one of the first Fish and Game staffers to notice an unusual trend was Iris Frank, a regional data coordinator and fisheries technician.

Frank’s lab is on the first floor of Fish and Game’s Douglas Island office that looks like it hasn’t changed much in the 32 years since she got there.

Frank has been looking at blown-up images of sockeye salmon scales for decades.  She pops one onto the machine and dials it into focus to show that salmon scales have ridges, called circuli. They look a lot like fingerprints.

It’s worth a read.