The district's total king run is around 4,000. While it's still early in the season, managers say that if the numbers stay low they will implement more conservative management heading into the sockeye fishery.
Fishermen around the state are gearing up for the summer season. Pre-season prices were sky-high for salmon from early fisheries like Copper River, and some in the industry are optimistic about what this summer has in store.
As the fishing season ramps up, so does vexation with a federal requirement that people wear face masks on commercial fishing vessels, part of the CDC’s guidelines on mask wearing on public transportation to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The Togiak herring fishery has wrapped up for the season and it came with a few surprises. One fisher talked about what stood out — and why participating was worth it — even without knowing how much he made.
The department flew two surveys last week. Wednesday, they observed one small school of fish at the tip of Anchor Point and a dozen more between Togiak Reef and the village. No fish were seen during Friday's survey.
A recent study by the McKinley Research Group estimates that Bristol Bay’s commercial salmon industry generated $2 billion in economic benefit and an average of 15,000 jobs in 2019. The 57-page study was published in February by “Bristol Bay Defense Fund,” a coalition of regional Tribes, businesses and conservation groups that support permanent federal protections at the region's headwaters.
The state has forecasted a jump in commercial salmon harvests across most species this summer. Once again, Bristol Bay is projected to see a huge influx of sockeye. But there are still concerns about king salmon runs.
Participation from the gillnet fleet has been low in recent years. This spring, Fish and Game will open the area from Kulukak Bay to Right Hand Point to gillnetters first, as usual. But if there are none, it will open fishing to seiners.
The 233-foot Aleutian Falcon caught fire shortly before midnight Wednesday, according to the Coast Guard. It was one of two floating processors Trident operates during the herring and salmon seasons in Alaska.