The Port Moller Test Fishery got started on Monday. It’s run by the Bristol Bay Science and Research Institute with assistance from ADF&G.
It’s intended to give fishermen a sense of the sockeye resource that is roughly a week away from the in-shore districts. The test fishery will run for the next 30 days. The vessel conducting the test fishery this year, just like last year, is the Research Vessel Pandalus, which is owned and operated by the State of Alaska.
On Monday they fished out from Port Moller and hit stations 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10. A total of 30 fish were caught on Monday. As like last year the test fishery will be using a net with multiple mesh panels. 19 of the fish caught Monday were caught in the 4 1/2-inch mesh. 11 were caught in the 5 1/8-inch mesh. 13 of the sockeye were caught at station 4 with another 8 fish caught at station 6. Station 8 boasted a catch of 7 sockeye. 2 sockeye were caught at station 10. The extreme inside station is number 2 and there were no fish caught at that station on Monday. The Pandalus was scheduled to fish back into Port Moller on Tuesday.
Staff with the Bristol Bay Science and Research Institute are holding off with a detailed interpretation of the catch data for a few days until more data is available. One of the most useful tools for fishermen, processors, and managers that comes out of the Port Moller Test Fishery is the genetic stock composition estimates. Fish and Game will likely release the first such estimates on June 20th.
KDLG News will provide details about the data from the test fishery during our local news coverage and the weekly Bristol Bay Fisheries Report that can be heard at 4-pm on Friday’s, Saturday’s and Sunday’s through July. The Port Moller updates will be available online on the website of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association. That website is www.bbrsda.com.