First sockeye catch bigger than expected

May 19, 2011 

VALDEZ -- The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says the Copper River salmon catch is off to a strong start.

KCHU radio in Valdez reported that 105,300 sockeyes were caught during the first 12 hours of fishing Monday. The department had projected a catch of 41,000 sockeyes.

Commercial fishermen also report catching 1,700 king salmon and 6,000 chum salmon during the 12-hour opener.

The price of Copper River sockeye has been running at about $4 per pound and kings are fetching at least $6.50 per pound, with chums garnering at least 20 cents per pound.

The next opener is 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday.

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