Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 7, 2018

Jul 7, 2018

Not to sound like a broken record, but 2018 seems to be all about breaking records in Bristol Bay. The Nushagak District just hit an all-time best harvest of 12.4 million, topping last year's record. 

Dillingham resident Stephanie Loftus teaches her little brother Gabe to fish on the Wood River Friday near Lake Aleknagik.
Credit Austin Fast / KDLG

Over on the Wood River, sockeye escapement numbers pushed over 4.1 million, making it nearly certain we'll see another record fall in short order.

Looking east though, we may see an unfortunate record on the Kvichak River this year. Area management biologist Travis Elison says it's having its the smallest run in recent history. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced Saturday morning the Naknek-Kvichak district would close to help more fish get upstream. They're moving commercial drift boats into a special harvest area in the mouth of the Naknek River to allow Kvichak sockeye to swim unfished to natal streams to spawn.

Closing Naknek-Kvichak initiates a cascade of regulations around Bristol Bay. It also triggers the closure of the Egegik District and the opening of the Egegik River Special Harvest Area at 8 p.m. Saturday.

"Our Way of Life"
Credit Apayo Moore

Keeping our artsy weekend vibe going -- after hearing live music on last Saturday's show -- Yup'ik painter Apayo Moore explains how living a subsistence lifestyle honors her heritage and inspires her artwork.

She also shares an incredible description of her process and inspiration for painting "Our Way of Life" -- a work commissioned as a gift for President Barack Obama when he declared Bristol Bay off-limits to oil and gas drilling at the end of 2014.

Also on Saturday's show -- shockingly, no messages to the fleet. Come on, guys -- send those to avery@kdlg.org or call the station at 907-842-5281. We do have a tricky riddle for you to consider though.

Catch this program nightly at 6 p.m., 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. on AM 670, and online at KDLG.org. (With early broadcasts Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 p.m.)

Letters from home to your friends and family in the Bay this summer? Email us at avery@kdlg.org, or call 907-842-5281.

Have feedback, suggestions of something you'd like to hear? Reach Avery Lill / Izzy Ross / Austin Fast / or Mitch Borden (in Naknek).

Sunset paints the clouds above Bristol Bay.
Credit Izak Lederman
Painter Apayo Moore shows off her incredible balance and painting skills at her hilltop studio outside Aleknagik.
Credit Austin Fast / KDLG