Petersburg crew catches first Atlantic salmon of the year

An Atlantic salmon that escaped from a British Columbia fish farming operation was caught recently in Southeast Alaska's Sumner Strait, reports Petersburg radio station KFSK. Such catches are an annual occurrence though much reduced in number from the 1990s.

Jeff Rice of Alaska Fish and Game tells KFSK there's little cause for alarm:

"One Atlantic salmon is pretty common in a given year. A couple years ago, we saw three of four after a big escape from the ... net pens down in Canada." ... The number of Atlantic salmon caught in the region is substantially down from the near 100 brought in yearly during the 1990s.

Rice says escapees are rarely caught, though when they are, they invariably appear battered, a good indication that they've only recently escaped and haven't mingled much with wild Pacific salmon.