by The Associated Press
1:35 PM AKDT, August 1, 2011
The state has reduced its initial projection for how many sockeye salmon are returning to the Kenai River, but the projected return remains huge.
The latest estimate for the run of reds is about 6 million. The Alaska Journal of Commerce says that would place it in the all-time top five for Kenai sockeye returns.
The previous projected return was 6.7 million sockeyes. The all-time return record for Kenai sockeye is about 9.4 million in 1987.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game estimates that all user groups have harvested about 5 million sockeye so far this summer. The agency has kept some closures in place for commercial fishing in order to protect a below-average run of king salmon.