Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 16, 2018

Jul 16, 2018

Eastside districts saw big numbers this weekend as Naknek-Kvichak surged forward with enormous catch and escapement figures on Saturday, encompassing 17 percent of the run in just a single day.

A young fisherman shows off some of his catch on board the Muskrat, an Ocean Beauty tender.
Credit Mitch Borden / KDLG

Fishing’s always unpredictable, but in just one week, the Naknek-Kvichak district has gone from conservation efforts to positioning itself to perhaps surpass the preseason forecast run of 16.6 million. Area management biologist Travis Elison is cautiously optimistic.

This could be shaping up as the Naknek-Kvichak's latest run ever, Elison said. He noted that Saturday, July 14 was a pivotal day. With 557,000 fish escaping up the Kvichak River and fishermen harvestiug 800,000 reds, that represents the highest single-day percentage of total run size ever to pulse through the district. The previous record was just 9 percent of total run in a single day, he said.

Ugashik also seems to be hitting its stride as the district opened wide at noon Monday through the end of the month. On Friday, fishermen there hit the water after several days off, and numbers are growing. In just three days, cumulative harvest in the district doubled to 864,000, and total escapement tripled to pass over the minimum of 600,000. Area management biologist Paul Salomone said that’s right on time for Ugashik.

Over in Egegik, Salomone said lower numbers of fishermen allowed for a bit more escapement than he would have liked to see over the weekend. Egegik hit its escapement goal mid-point on Sunday, so it waived its transfer period and is now open through July 30. That’s typically the cue for Egegik fishermen to return from other districts, but Salomone said this year has been unusual. More fishermen are lingering in the Nushagak district to enjoy its stronger and longer than usual run.

Finally, KDLG's Avery Lill brings us a harrowing tale from the captain and crew of the F/V Kristi, a drift boat that sank near Clark’s Point early Saturday morning. A deckhand on board the F/V Gordon Jenson caught this video of the incident and shared it on Facebook.

Catch this program at 6 p.m., 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. on AM 670, and online at KDLG.org. We are now tapering our fishing coverage for the summer. This week we will air shows on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Then we'll be back with a final wrap up Fisheries Report on July 27. Thanks for following our show this summer!

Letters from home to your friends and family in the Bay this summer? Email us at avery@kdlg.org, or call 907-842-5281.

Have feedback, suggestions of something you'd like to hear? Reach Avery Lill / Izzy Ross / Austin Fast / or Mitch Borden (in Naknek).

Contact the author at austin@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281.

Fishermen deliver brailer bags full of sockeye in the Naknek-Kvichak district.
Credit Mitch Borden / KDLG
Boats line up at an Ocean Beauty to drop off their catch in the Naknek-Kvichak district.
Credit Mitch Borden / KDLG