There was a big push this year to conserve king salmon on the Kuskokwim River, and while more Chinook made it into the river this year, some specific escapement goals were not met.
2014 was unique for many reasons, with a poor forecast of king salmon expected this summer only federally qualified subsistence users were allowed to harvest chinooks.
There were also gear restrictions before the season even got going. Now that the season is winding down, fishery managers are looking at the number of fish counted at escapement monitoring projects.
The fish and wildlife service say one of its weir on the Kwethluk River barely counted 75 percent of its lower escapement goal, and the weir on the Tuluksak saw one of its lowest results, saying only three other years were worse.
“We certainly would have like to have seen better numbers escaping on our lower rivers but what we did get was better than had we not had those restrictions in place,” said Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Deputy Manager for the Yukon-Delta National Wildlife Refuge Brian McCaffery.
Federal managers say there were some positives this season. It was the 4th highest year for Coho salmon which helped people meet subsistence needs, also larger kings were seen up river than in past.