Low king salmon numbers forecast in western Alaska

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by Your Alaska Link News Team

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says western Alaska fishermen hoping for improved king salmon runs in 2014 will be disappointed again.

Reports say the department is forecasting another dismal year for kings returning to Norton Sound and western Alaska.

Biologist Scott Kent says that means severe fishing restrictions aimed at conserving every king salmon returning to those waters.

Biologists don't know why king numbers have been down over the last few years but suspect warming sea water, commercial bycatch, overfishing or other factors.

There is good news for other salmon in western Alaska.

The department expects above-average returns of chum, silver and pink salmon.

Fisheries biologist Kevin Keith of Norton Sound Economic Development Corp. says the forecast is less certain for sockeye salmon.

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