The forecast for sockeye is promising for 2014. State biologists this week released the 2014 Upper Cook Inlet Sockeye Salmon Forecast, detailing a total 6.1 million run.
From that 6.1 million, 1.8 are slated for escapement and 4.3 million for harvest.
In the report, biologists acknowledge that the harvest this year was 1.4 million less than the original forecast of 4.9 million. They explain that the run to the Kenai River came in 1 million below forecast, with a final result of 3.5 million returning.
Only the Kasilof and Susitna saw more fish than anticipated: the Kasilof has forecasted for 903,000 but saw 1,080,000 and the Susitna saw 461,000 return, close to 10,000 more than the forecasted 363,000.
The 2014 harvest of 4.3 million for all user groups is 0.6 million over the 20-year average. The anticipated run for the Kenai (3.8 million) is right at the 20-year average. Escapement for the Kenai ranges from 1-1.2 million.
The Kasilof is expected to see a run of 1,062,000, which is 11 percent above the 20 year average. Escapement for the Kasilof is 160,000-340,000.
The Susitna run is down 39 percent from the 7-year average, with just 264,000 forecasted to return. There is no escapement goal for the Susitna, since Susitna sockeye are managed to escapement goals in other lakes.
Fish Creek is slated for a reduced run, with 79,000 returning. Escapement goals for the creek range from 20,000-70,000.