Copper River salmon return may not be huge, but at least they’re en route

After a long hard winter, Alaska’s commercial salmon fishing season officially gets underway in less than two weeks. The first big fishery for sockeye and king salmon is set for May 18 at Copper River, and the town of Cordova is buzzing, said Christa Hoover, executive director of the Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association. “The mood changes at the start of May with all the folks back in town and boats going in and out of the water,” she said. Enthusiasm among the fleet of more than 500 drift gillnetters has not been dampened by a reduced harvest projection. Fishery managers expect a Copper River salmon catch this season of just 889,000 sockeyes, 4,000 kings and 207,000 coho salmon. “Regardless of the forecast from one year to the next, fishermen just want to have their nets in the water. It’s what they do and they are ready to go,” Hoover said. click here to read the story 08:34