The 2013 commercial salmon fishery in Bristol Bay officially opens up this morning at 9am in the eastside districts.
Commercial fishermen are free to fish in the Naknek-Kvichak, Egegik and Ugashik Districts beginning this morning at 9, as all 3 districts go onto a weekly fishing schedule to start the season. While fishermen can fish, it’s unlikely there are many salmon swimming around as it’s very early in the season.
In the Naknek-Kvichhak District both the Naknek and Kvichak Sections are open to setnet effort, while the drifters are limited to just the Naknek Section. The weekly fishing period is from 9-am Mondays to 9-am Fridays beginning this morning at 9. The weekly fishing schedule ends at 9-am Friday, June 21st. At that point the District is under emergency order status and commercial fishing time will be announced by Fish and Game.
Down in the Ugashik District both setnetters and drifters can fish from 9-am Mondays to 9-am Fridays beginning this morning at 9-am. The weekly fishing schedule will end at 9-am Friday, June 14th. The weekly fishing schedule in the Egegik District will run from 9-am Mondays to 9-am Wednesdays. The district will then be closed until 9-am Thursdays. At that point the District will then re-open until 9-am Fridays. The weekly fishing schedule in the Egegik District begins this morning at 9 and ends at 9-am on Friday, June 14th. In the emergency orders issued on Friday, Fish and Game opened subsistence fishing in the Egegik Commercial Fishing District until 11:59-pm on Friday, June 14th.
In an effort to conserve king salmon, a mesh restriction of 5.5-inches is in place for the Naknek-Kvichak District fishermen.
The Fish and Game office in Naknek is advising all permit holders to monitor VHF channel 7 at 9-am, 12-noon, 3-pm, 6-pm and 8-pm for potential announcements beginning on June 14th for the Egegik District, June 16th for the Ugashik District and June 21st for the Naknek-Kvichak District. Drift permit holders who fish in the eastside districts don’t have to register for a District until June 25th. However, if you're fishing a deal permit you must register with Fish and Game before you wet your nets.
The official Fish and Game forecast this year is for a total run of just over 26-million sockeye. If that’s correct the potential commercial harvest could be around 16.6-million. One of the major tools used by fishermen, processors and other stakeholders to prepare for the millions of fish is the annual Port Moller Test Fishery run by the BBED’s Bristol Bay Science and Research Institute. The test fishery is scheduled to get started on June 10th and will run for about 30-days.