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Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 20, 2019

Sage Smiley/KDLG

The bay-wide total run is now at 51.6 million! Ugashik fished for the first time in almost two weeks yesterday, pushing the total harvest toward half a million fish. Egegik’s total run is now about double the preseason forecast. The Kvichak escapement is still moving toward its minimum escapement goal of 2 million – but it’s not there yet.

The bay-wide total run is now at 51.6 million. That is more than 11 million over Fish and Game’s preseason forecast of 40.2 million. The cumulative harvest is 40.4 million and escapement is at 10.5 million.


The Nushagak District continued its downward trend yesterday. The catch was 79,000 – the first time the daily haul was under six digits since June 22. Cumulative harvest is at 14.6 million. Escapement across the district was 47,600, for a total of 2.7 million. That’s almost 800,000 above the upper end escapement goal. The total run in the Nushagak is now 17.3 million.

The Wood counted 28,800 fish yesterday for a total of 2 million. There is a 7-hour opener for set netters today – from 4 p.m. this afternoon until 11 p.m. tonight. After that, the special harvest area closes to commercial fishing, so total escapement in the Wood will probably tick up steadily, though it will be open to subsistence.

The Nushagak River run is slowing significantly. The tower counted 8,000 fish yesterday, bringing total escapement to 671,800. And the Igushik only counted 10,800 yesterday for a total of 65,600. 

Togiak hauled in 41,000 fish yesterday, for a total of 478,600. Escapement was 8,600 for a total of 99,600. The total run there is 578,300 – about halfway to the forecasted 1.1 million.

Over on the east side, the Naknek-Kvichak had a big day, hauling in 385,000 fish for a total of 10.9 million. District-wide escapement was 444,200, for a cumulative 5.2 million. At 16.4 million, the total run there is now a million above its preseason forecast.

The Kvichak run continues at a steady pace – 226,000 fish passed the tower yesterday for a cumulative escapement of 1.8 million. That’s still about 200,000 short of the minimum escapement of 2 million. The in-river estimate is at 300,000. Though short of its minimum, the Kvichak did have the largest escapement in the district yesterday. It was followed by the Naknek, which had a daily escapement of 123,500 for a total of 2.7 million. The Alagnak River counted 94,700 for a cumulative 645,800. 


Ugashik fished yesterday for the first time since July 8. That opener brought in 130,000 for a cumulative harvest of 454,600. Daily escapement was 47,100 for a total of 223,700. The in-river estimate is 33,000, and the total run has finally cracked 1 million, a third of the forecasted run of 3.3 million.


Egegik had another big day. It hauled in just under 400,000 fish. The cumulative harvest is now at 13.9 million. Escapement was 60.8 thousand, for a total of 2.2 million. The total run is now 16.1 million. That is almost double the preseason forecast of 8.7 million. 

Escapement at the Chignik Weir was 17,300 yesterday for a total of 450,300. 

To date, the North Peninsula’s Area M has harvested 1.6 million sockeye. The South Peninsula’s sockeye harvest is now at 1 million, and the pink harvest there is now 10.4 million. 


Credit Sage Smiley/KDLG
People watch the second in-river opener in the Naknek River on July 18, 2019.

Catch this program nightly live at 6 p.m., with replays at 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. on AM 670, and online at (With early broadcasts of the numbers Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 p.m.)

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

Have feedback or suggestions of something you'd like to hear? Reach Izzy Ross / Tyler Thompson / Alex Hager / Sage Smiley (in Naknek)


Credit Isabelle Ross/KDLG
Boating along at the mouth of the Kvichak River.


Contact the author at 907-842-2200.

Izzy Ross is the news director at KDLG, the NPR member station in Dillingham. She reports, edits, and hosts stories from around the Bristol Bay region, and collaborates with other radio stations across the state.