Drone captures bird’s-eye view of Alaska’s sockeye salmon run

The Alaska Salmon Program of the University of Washington each year conducts surveys of sockeye salmon during their return to spawn.

This year’s run was one of the largest in years and was captured by a drone-mounted camera high above the Iliamna Lake system.

The system is dominated by the 2,622 square kilometre Iliamna Lake, the largest lake in Alaska, and the 370 square kilometre Lake Clark. 

Numerous smaller lakes feed into these lakes and eventually discharge to Bristol Bay via the Kvichak River.

Drone view
Observed catch and escapement for years 2011–2014 as stacked bars, compared with 2015 (top). Escapements are in light gray and catches in dark gray. Total run for Bristol Bay is shown in millions of sockeye on the right hand axis.
Alaska Salmon Program

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