Kenai Sockeye run is looking late but strong

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Dipnetters -- this is your last chance!

The popular Kenai dipnetting season closes on Wednesday evening, but run numbers from Fish and Game (ADF&G) show that there still are plenty of fish to be had.

Saturday and Sunday both showed massive runs of sockeye through the Mile 19 weir, with 98,201 and 99,038 fish through on those respective days.

Those are some of the biggest numbers since 2013, when a couple of 200,000-plus plugs of sockeye rolled through on consecutive days.

The total run count for the season is now at 971,568, over double what it was at the same time last year.

Usually, Fish and Game says that the best bets for dipping is from July 16 to the 25th. This year though, the big numbers didn't start hitting until the 25th. Since then, they've only increased.

Meanwhile, an emergency order from ADF&G opened up the fishery to 24-hour fishing, which allows dippers to execute their perfect suicide runs.

ADF&G is predicting a 2.3 million fish run this year, with escapement up to 1.2 million.

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