Sockeye salmon are the most abundant salmon species in the Crescent River, which also supports smaller populations of pink, king, chum and coho salmon, and Dolly Varden. Crescent River supports Upper Cook Inlet setnet and driftnet fisheries, with sockeye runs that have ranged from a return of 20,000 to 200,000 salmon in a single year. As of 2011, the river had a 20-year run average of 104,000 fish. Crescent Lake is a major nursery for the system’s sockeye salmon, which arrive in mid June and until about the first week of August.
Although Crescent sockeye salmon are primarily harvested in support of the commercial fishing industry, they are also targeted by sport fishermen. ADF&G manages Crescent River sockeye salmon under a biological escapement goal of 30,000 to 70,000 fish.