The biggest run of sockeye salmon in Alaska’s Kenai River for 25 years has seen an estimated 500,000 fish force their way into the waterway in just 48 hours.
By the end of the first day of the annual migration, a sonar maintained by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game had counted 230,643 sockeye coming into the river, a figure it expected to double overnight.
State fisheries biologists were aware that massive numbers of the species were schooling offshore, but they were more than a little shocked by the size of the return that swarmed the river in one fell swoop.
"It's a phenomenal event,'' said commercial fisheries biologist Pat Shields. “We haven’t seen a run of this magnitude since 1987.”