Friday's Harvest in Bristol Bay... A Disappointing 136-Thousand Sockeye

Jul 6, 2013

Drifters in the Dillingham Harbor waiting on some fish.
Credit Mike Mason

The Bristol Bay commercial sockeye fishery appears to be dwindling fast as only 136-thousand sockeye were taken Friday across the entire bay.

Despite being open to continuous fishing only 100-thousand sockeye were taken Friday in the Nushagak District to push the season total to over 2.7-million. The Naknek-Kvichak District was closed on Friday so the District total is still just 4-million fish. There was just an 8-hour setnet period Friday in the Egegik District and just 12-thousand sockeye were taken. The season total to the Egegik District is still 4.1-million sockeye. The Ugashik District was closed on Friday and the season total is still 1.8-million fish. Friday’s commercial harvest in the Togiak District was 24-thousand sockeye to push the District total to 90.7-thousand fish. The total harvest in Bristol Bay through Friday was just over 13-million sockeye. That’s still about 3.6-million fish short of the pre-season forecast.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports that on average there were 270-sockeye per drift delivery Friday in the Nushagak District and the number in the Togiak District was 208.

As of 9-am this morning there were 1,337 drift net vessels registered to fish in Bristol Bay. The count in the Naknek-Kvichak District was 533 and that’s expected to increase up to 550 in 48-hours. Currently there are 127 D-boats registered to fish in the Naknek-Kvichak District and that’s expected to increase by 4-vessels in 48-hours. The current vessel count in the Egegik District is 303 and that’s expected to increase to 306-vessels in 48-hours. Currently there are 75 D-boats registered to fish in Egegik. The vessel count in the Nushagak District is 269 and that’s expected to increase up to 278 in 48-hours. Currently there are 48 D-boats registered in the Nushagak District. The vessel count in the Ugashik District is 174 and that’s expected to increase up to 182-vessel in 48-hours. Currently there are 45-D boats registered to fish in the Ugashik District. Now looking at escapement. Another 29.4-thousand sockeye were counted Friday in the Ugashik River to push the season total to 190.5-thousand. That’s still well short of the escapement goal of 500-thousand to 1.2-million. However, Fish and Game is estimating that there are another 80-thousand sockeye in the Ugashik River that have not yet been counted as escapement. Friday’s escapement count to the Egegik River was 19.4-thousand and the season total is 790.6-thousand sockeye. That’s approaching the lower end of the escapement goal of 800-thousand to 1.4-million. Fish and Game is estimating there are another 20-thousand sockeye in the Egegik River that have not yet been counted as escapement. Sockeye escapement to the Kvichak River was counted at 86.3-thousand sockeye on Friday to push the total to 1.5-million. Fish and Game is estimating that there are another 100-thousand sockeye in the Kvichak River that have not yet been counted as escapement. Another 13.8-thousand sockeye were counted in the Naknek River on Friday and the season total is now 561.3-thousand. That’s still well short of the escapement goal of 800-thousand to 1.4-million fish. Sockeye escapement to the Igushik River was counted at 29-thousand fish to push the total to over 254.2-thousand. Nushagak River sockeye escapement was counted at 33.5-thousand fish on Friday to push the total to 819.1-thousand sockeye. Wood River escapement was counted at 39.7-thousand sockeye to push the total to just over 1-million fish. Another 4.1-thousand sockeye were counted Friday to the Togiak River and the season total is now over 14.8-thousand.

Now looking at the gear splits. In the Ugashik District the split is 95-percent drift and 4.8-percent set. In the Egegik District the split is 85.5-percent drift and 14.5-percent set. In the Naknek-Kvichak District the split is 82.8-percent drift, 8.6-percent Naknek set and 8.5-percent Kvichak set. In the Nushagak District the split is 78.4-percent drift, 16.2-percent Nushagak set and 5.4-percent Igushik set.

The total run to Bristol Bay through Friday is 18.4-million sockeye… including the harvest, escapement and the in-river estimates. That’s still well short of the pre-season forecast of a run of 26.3-million. The daily run summary can be found on the ADF&G Bristol Bay website and the summaries are posted at the Fish and Game offices in Dillingham and King Salmon.