Sockeye Escapement Counts in the Nushagak District Continue to Climb

Jul 6, 2013

Sockeye harvested in a subsistence net on July 4 at the headwaters of the Wood River.
Credit Mike Mason

The sockeye escapement counts in the Nushagak District took another large jump upwards on Friday as the mid-points on all 3 rivers are in sight.

Another 39.7-thousand sockeye were counted in the Wood River on Friday and the count through 6-am this morning was 3,780. That pushes total escapement to the Wood River to over 1-million fish. The escapement goal is between 700-thousand to 1.5-million. The mid-point is 1.1-million. Sockeye escapement to the Nushagak River on Friday was counted at 33.5-thousand fish. That puts total escapement to over 819-thousand sockeye. The upper end of the escapement goal is 840-thousand fish. Another 29-thousand sockeye were counted Friday to the Igushik River and the count through 6 o’clock this morning was 2.3-thousand. That pushes the season total through 256.5-thousand sockeye. The upper end of the escapement goal is 300-thousand fish.

Once the mid-point on the Wood River is achieved Fish and Game can waive the transfer requirement into the Nushagak District. Once that is done fishermen can transfer into the District without sitting out the usual 48-hours.

The other large counting operation in the Nushagak District is to count kings returning to the Nushagak River. Another 2.2-thousand kings were counted Friday to push the season total to 82.8-thousand sockeye. That’s still short of the new escapement goal of 95-thousand fish.

Currently the commercial fishery in the Nushagak District is open until further notice 24-hours a day for both the drifters and setnetters. However, catches have been very light in recent days. Just 100-thousand sockeye were taken in the Nushagak District on Friday to push the season total up to 2.7-million sockeye.

To the west in the Togiak District things are just starting to pick up and 24-thousand sockeye were taken on Friday to push the season total up to 90.7-thousand fish. The counting towers on the Togiak River started counting on July 3rd and on Friday another 4.1-thousand sockeye were counted to push the total to 14.8-thousand fish. The escapement goal for the Togiak River is 150-thousand sockeye.

As of 9-am this morning there were 269-drift vessels registered to fish in the Nushagak District and 58 in the Togiak District. The vessel count in the Nushagak is expected to increase up to 278 in 48-hours.