Starting today, the gillnetters are out. Fish processors say the season looks promising and the folks on the water agree. “We’re pretty optimistic” is a phrase repeated by those spoken to in the industry.
Chris Knight, executive director of United Southeast Alaska Gillnetters, is one of them. He expects better sockeye returns than last year. He added that chum returns were also busy last year and expects this again.
“Sockeye returns have come in fairly strong so we hope it’s good predictor for us,” said Knight. He said reports from the Copper River indicate really strong numbers, so fleets on similar ocean survival rates should also expect good returns.
Knight isn’t the only one getting good signs of things to come. Taku Fisheries Vice President and General Manager Eric Norman said preliminary catches from the trollers around Icy Strait that intercept the fish indicates this will be a busy year.
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