Due to the worst return of Sockeye Salmon to the Russian River in 33 years, the famous sport fishery has been closed by the Alaska DNR.
So far this summer, only 15,519 sockeyes have been counted swimming past the fish counting weir. By comparison, last year 80,000 sockeyes were counted and really good years over 150,000 reds were counted.
The Russian River flows into the much bigger Kenai River. So far on the Kenai, 880,000 sockeyes have been counted.
Normally, the reds (sockeyes) return to spawn every 5th or 6th year which they will eventually die. Their body undergoes a drastic change from silver coloration to a blood red body with green head.
Of the 5 species of Pacific Salmon (kings, silvers, chums, pinks, and sockeyes) sockeyes are most likely the best for consumption.