ADF&G Haines Area Management Biologist Wyatt Rhea-Fournier says a large portion of the sockeye run came in a big pulse of 38,000 fish.

“Kind of uncharacteristic if you look at the long term patterns for that lake,” Rhea-Fournier said. “Now, two of the last three years we’ve had these really large pulses of sockeye into the Chilkoot Lake.”

Now, as the run comes to an end, just over 84,000 fish have passed through Fish and Game’s weir on the Chilkoot River. That’s a good number, just below the upper bound of the escapement goal.

Rhea-Fournier says those numbers have allowed the department to open up fishing.

“We’ve given a lot of opportunity since that large pulse of fish came through,” Rhea-Fournier said. “Opening up the Lutak Inlet all the way up to the river mouth for extra days. The last couple days we’ve been open four days a week and five days a week. This next week it will be open for six days.”

On the Chilkat side, however, Fish and Game is still waiting. They still have a ways to go before meeting the escapement goal on the Chilkat River. But, Rhea-Fournier says that’s not unusual. He says the run tends to be more prolonged.

“If you look at over the last 10 years, by the end of August we have about half of our escapement through,” Rhea-Fournier said. “So that means we still have more fish to come. Right now we’re only at 44,000 fish. So we’re hoping that there is a whole second half of the run coming. Because, of course, our minimum goal on the Chilkat side is 70,000 fish.”