As East Side districts open to commercial fishing, no walrus on Cape Greig

Jun 1, 2018

Ugashik, Naknek-Kvichak and Egegik districts open to commercial fishing on Monday at 9 a.m. For the past two years, ADF&G has adjusted the north boundary of the Ugashik District to accomadate walrus hauled out at Cape Greig. This year, the walrus are a no show.

Sunset in Naknek. June 18, 2017.
Credit KDLG

Commercial fishing opens Monday morning on the east side of Bristol Bay. Although, it is still early in the season and there are unlikely to be many fish in the water.

The Ugashik, Naknek-Kvichak, and Egegik districts all open at 9 a.m. on June 4 and will be open according to their weekly schedules determined by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game until June 15 for the Egegik and Ugashik districts and June 22 for the Naknek-Kvichak district. Following those dates, managers can open districts to more fishing opportunity based on escapement and in season abundance.

Subsistence fishing in Egegik and Ugashik opened June 1.

One particularly notable development in the Ugashik District this year is that walrus have not returned to Cape Greig.

In 2016 walrus unexpectedly hauled out near the north line of the district, prompting ADF&G to push the north boundary a mile south to protect the marine mammals. Walrus hauled out at Cape Greig again last year and again pushed the boundary south. This year, the department the walrus have not shown up yet, so the district boundaries will be as described in Bristol Bay commercial fishing regulations. ADF&G will continue to monitor the area for these pennipeds throughout the season.

The preseason forecast for Bristol Bay indicates that more than half of the 51.3 million sockeye forecasted to return to the bay will return to the east side districts—16.6 to Naknek-Kvichak, 9.1 million to Egegik and 2.8 million to Ugashik.

Contact the author at avery@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281.