Fisheries

BBRSDA Waypoints

Jun 28, 2021
BBRSDA

BBRSDA is producing a weekly, in-season radio show called Waypoints Radio, as an extension of their monthly email newsletter. The Waypoints Radio show airs on KDLG 670am each Thursday at 12:30pm during the fishing season.

Brian Venua/KDLG

A surge of sockeye reached the Nushagak District. The Wood River run has barreled past its 100,000-sockeye threshold, and crews in the district had their first opener. People have caught more kings in subsistence nets. But for now, conservation is king as managers try to let those Chinook through.

Brian Venua/KDLG

The Nushagak fleet is waiting for its first opener, which could come as soon as tomorrow. Stock composition numbers from Port Moller show most fish still headed to that district. Egegik had another haul yesterday, and there were smaller catches from Togiak and the Naknek-Kvichak. The total run for Bristol Bay is nearing 600,000 fish -- double what it was a few days ago.

 

Brian Venua/KDLG

It’s the first time in over two decades that a processor has told its fishermen what they would make before the season starts. No other company has set its base price yet — they usually wait until the end of the season.

Brian Venua/KDLG

Fishing’s still pretty slow around the bay. After a few big days at Port Moller, catches dropped off yesterday, although they’re expected to pick back up again. Egegik’s total run is the largest so far. Numbers are ticking up in the Nushagak, but Wood River escapement is still relatively slow. The total bay-wide run has passed 322,000.

CREDIT: MACKENZIE MANCUSO/KDLG

The course is meant to educate fishermen on marine safety. It focuses on the technical aspects of operating safety gear and teaches people what to do in an emergency. 

 

Brian Venua/KDLG

“At some point I’m thinking my arm’s failing, my body’s cramping and I’m losing control in my dexterity,” recalled Kaleb Westfall, captain of the F/V Peter. “Those thoughts creep into your head that you can’t do this forever. You are going to fail and it's hard to multitask and disallow those thoughts and I had to put it to one wave at a time.”

 

Brian Venua / KDLG

There has been a lot of confusion around commercial boat registration this year. Many fishermen are unsure whether or not they still need to register their vessels with the Department of Motor Vehicles, which has been a requirement for a few years. A new state House bill has put that on pause.

  

Izzy Ross/KDLG

It's the first Fish Report of the season! Data from Port Moller show a big push of fish might arrive in the Nushagak this week. But managers will wait to open fishing there until 100,000 sockeye have escaped up the Wood to protect the district's king run. On the East Side, Egegik's out fishing, and people in Naknek are getting ready.

Brian Venua/KDLG

The company announced a base price of $1.10. This is the first time in at least 25 years that a Bristol Bay processor has announced its base price this early in the year.

Izzy Ross/KDLG

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.

Bruce Ilutsik

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.

KDLG file photo

People who are vaccinated against COVID-19 can still test positive for the disease, though those cases are rare.

Brian Venua/KDLG

The exams are meant to address safety issues that may be present before the season gets underway. 

Sage Smiley/KDLG

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.

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