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Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 1, 2020

Sage Smiley/KDLG

Fishing in Egegik gets a boost as the run picks up there -- that fleet is looking at a set of openers. A push of fish up the Naknek River doubled the total escapement there yesterday, as the bay-wide run approaches 4 million.




Update in Egegik and Ugashik 

Egegik’s run is starting to pick up steam and come on line. KDLG checked in with management biologist Aaron Tiernan about what that means for the fleet, and got an update on the haul out of walrus in Ugashik. 


This season’s sockeye run up the Chignik River could be the weakest since statehood -- right now it’s around half of what the run was at this point in 2018. 

On Tuesday we talked to Chignik’s area management biologists about some of the environmental factors that could be affecting the early run. Today KDLG heard from Benjamin Allen, a fisherman who lives in Chignik Bay. Allen is also a member of the Chignik Advisory Council and the city council. 


Weather Wednesday

It’s Weather Wednesday with Rick Thoman! Thoman is a climate specialist with the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He says temperatures around Bristol Bay have been relatively normal for June. But looking at the next several days, forecasters are split on what to expect.


Weather Wednesday on July 1, 2020 with Rick Thoman.

Nushagak District

The Nushagak district’s daily harvest was almost 200,000 yesterday, tipping the season’s harvest so far to 1.2 million. That was harvested 5% by Igushik set-netters, 26% by Nushagak set-netters, and 69% by the drifters. 

In the full Nushagak district, daily escapement was 85,300 yesterday. That makes total escapement across the Nushagak district 755,000. 

Nushagak River

The Nushagak River sonar counted 31,600 sockeye up the river yesterday, bringing sockeye escapement to 347,000. 9,000 chum also made it upriver for a chum escapement of 50,900. And the sonar counted 900 kings yesterday, bringing king escapement in the Nushagak to 31,583. 

Wood River

The Wood River counting tower crew counted 24,500 sockeye past the tower as of 6am, making total escapement up the Wood to 41,000 fish so far. 

Igushik River

The Igushik counting crew had tallied 2,700 fish past the tower this morning, for a total escapement of 27,000 sockeye. 


Togiak’s daily catch of 2,000 almost doubled its total run so far of 4,200. No escapement numbers yet from Togiak.


Fishermen in the Naknek-Kvichak caught 177,000 fish yesterday, bringing the running total harvest in the Naknek-Kvichak to 643,000. That catch came 10% from Kvichak set-netters, 27% from Naknek set-netters, and 63% from drift boats. 

165,000 fish escaped across the Naknek-Kvichak district yesterday, for a running season total of 287,000. Breaking that down by river:

Alagnak River

Yesterday was the first day for escapement numbers in the Alagnak river, where 3,000 fish escaped.

Kvichak River

In the Kvichak river, yesterday’s daily escapement was 2,000, almost doubling the season total escapement in the Kvichak to 4,600.

Naknek River

And in the Naknek river, 160,000 fish escaped, doubling the season’s escapement there as well, to 280,000. 


There were no fish caught in Egegik yesterday, so the total harvest remains 561,000. 

Escapement in the Egegik district yesterday was 14,300, which makes the escapement total there just over 200,000. 


There were no fish caught in Ugashik yesterday either. Season’s harvest still stands at 18,200. 

7,600 sockeye escaped in the Ugashik district yesterday, which puts the total escapement in the district at 15,000.


Over at the Chignik Weir, 4,540 sockeye passed the weir yesterday. 7 chinook passed the weir, and no pinks passed. The chinook run is now at 55. 

576 sockeye had passed the weir as of 5 p.m. this afternoon. 

The total run up the Chignik River is now at at 69,473. The early run is now at 67,100 The late run is at 2,370. 

Area M

In Area M, a daily catch of 2,600 sockeye brought the season total harvest to 368,000. Fleet also caught 50 kings, bringing the king total harvest to 3,100. 

Fishing was closed on the south peninsula yesterday. The south peninsula will open back up for fishing on next Monday, July 6, after the completion of a test fishery. 

Permit registration on July 1 9:00 a.m. to July 3 at 9:00 a.m.

As of 9am this morning, there are 1,272 boats fishing across the bay, 364 of which are D boats. That will increase to 1,294 boats at 9am on Friday, with 367 of those being D boats. Let’s take a look at where those boats are spread out:

You guessed it, the Nushagak has the most boats out of the 5 districts in the bay. 40% of the fleet is still fishing there. That’s 506 boats, 156 of which are D boats. However, come Friday morning, the Nushagak is actually going to lose 4 boats. On Friday there will be 502 boats, 151 of which will be D boats, fishing the Nushagak. 

29% of the fleet is fishing in the Naknek-Kvichak as of this morning, which comes out to 364 boats, 103 of which are D boats. The Naknek-Kvichak district will see the biggest jump in vessel registrations Friday morning, when it will add 19 boats for a total of 383 boats, 108 of which will be D boats. 

In Egegik, there are 343 boats fishing, 98 of which are D boats. That’s 27% of the fleet. Egegik will get 2 more single permit vessels in 48 hours, and 1 D boat, bringing the total fleet there to 346 boats, 99 of which will be D boats. 

There are still 36 vessels holding down the fort in Togiak. That 3% of the fleet won’t change before Friday morning. 

Ugashik also still has just 2% of the fleet fishing there: 23 boats, 7 of which are D boats. That number will increase to 27 boats by Friday morning, with 9 D boats. 

Port Moller

Read Port Moller Test Fishery data analyst Scott Raborn's answer to the million dollar question of station catches and inshore fishing

The Port Moller test fishery started collecting data in earnest again yesterday, and had the greatest catch indices of the season.

Scott Moller said in an email that the usual peak for the test fishery is June 29. But the boats of the fishery didn’t fish station 26 to 28, there’s not a way to know if this is the peak. If catch indices continue to be high the next few days, that will confirm that the run is late this year.

Here are the catch indices from yesterday:


Station  Index

Station 6 had an index of 14 -- 5 in the 4 ½ and 1 in the 5 ⅛.

Station 8 had an index of 90 -- 34 in the 4 ½ and 5 in the 5 ⅛.

Station 10 had an index of  84 -- 28 in the 4 ½ and 17 in the 5 ⅛.

Station 12 had an index of 30 -- 7 in the 4 ½ and 4 in the 5 ⅛.

Station 14 had an index of 23 -- 9 in the 5 ⅛ inch mesh.

Station 16 had an index of 156 -- 36 in the 4 ½ and 37 in the 5 ⅛.

Station 18 had an index of 94 -- 13 in the 4 ½ and 48 in the 5 ⅛.

Station 20 had an index of 84 -- 3 in the 4 ½ and 39 in the 5 ⅛.