Like clockwork, hordes of red salmon began rushing up the Kenai River this weekend, making life better for dipnetters – as well as commercial and subsistence fishers.
"The fish have arrived," said Jason Pawluk, assistant area management biologist for sport fishing in Soldotna.
The Kenai River in-river sonar at Mile 19 recorded 119,000 sockeye storming through on Sunday, said Pawluk. That's about six times the 20,000 or so fish that had pushed into the river the day before, according to Pawluk.
The single-day record came last summer on July 17, when more than 230,000 reds were counted.
Kenai dipnetting draws hordes of fishermen to the river mouth, looking to stock their freezer with tasty, protein-rich sockeye. Fishing traditionally gets hot around July 15.