Largest Catch and Escapement of Sockeye in Bristol Bay for This Point in the Season Since 1967

Jun 25, 2013

Trying to untangle a sockeye from the 200-fathom net used as part of the Port Moller Test Fishery.
Credit Mike Mason

The ongoing Port Moller Test Fishery had another good day of fishing on Monday. 184-sockeye were taken across all the stations with the largest catch coming at station 8 with 66-sockeye. 62-fish were taken at station 6 and 48-sockeye were taken at station 10. 8-fish were taken at station 4. No sockeye were taken at station 2 and it’s unclear if the test boat actually fished that station.

96-of the sockeye taken on Monday were taken in the 5 1/8th inch mesh panels and 88-fish were caught in the 4 ½ inch mesh panels. Monday’s catch produced a daily replacement index number of 48, which pushes the cumulative replacement index number up to 512. The daily traditional index number was 77, which pushes the cumulative number up to 1,233. That’s the 3rd largest cumulative index number through this point in the season. The largest number was 1,358 recorded in 2011. That year the total run came in at around 30-million fish. The only other year with a larger cumulative index number was 1993 when the number was 1,234. That year the run totaled around 52-million fish.

In the analysis of the Port Moller Test Fishery issued Monday night it was noted that the sockeye run through the test fishery area seem early and will likely peak in the next day or 2… if it hasn’t peaked already. Scott Raborn is the data analyst for the Bristol Bay Science and Research Institute, which run the Port Moller Test Fishery. He writes that an early run timing is consistent with the warmer than average sea surface temperatures observed thus far and the relatively high cumulative traditional index number for this year is partially explained by an early run time. Raborn confirms that since 1967 the cumulative catch and escapement in Bristol Bay has never been this high by June 23rd. He noted that the inshore run would have to have unprecedented early timing and compression to create the large number if the run is to come in at forecast or below.