Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 17, 2019

Jul 17, 2019

It’s technically the last day of active management, but the Eastside managers have announced they are pulling fishing back into the Egegik and Naknek River special harvest areas in an effort to push Kvichak fish through and make minimum escapement.

Boats near the Naknek harbor in July 2019.
Credit Sage Smiley / KDLG

It’s technically the last day of active management, but the east side managers have announced they are pulling fishing back into the Egegik and Naknek River special harvest areas in an effort to push Kvichak fish through and make minimum escapement. By the last registration counts, that’s more than 600 boats that could be inriver tomorrow in Naknek and over 450 that could be inriver in Egegik.

Today was supposed to be the last day of active management for Bristol Bay, but that’s not panning out in the Kvichak district, which is far below its escapement goal. Fishing in the Naknek-Kvichak will close for two tides starting at 8:00 PM tonight, and will be taken into the Naknek River Special Harvest Area for two tides, starting at 2:00 AM tomorrow. KDLG’s Sage Smiley talked with area management biologist Travis Elison about the decision.

Biologists are also having to intervene in the Igushik section of the Nushagak, where escapement is low and Fish and Game is taking some steps to set things back on track. Westside management biologist Tim Sands thinks the fish are in the river but are being held back by a thermal barrier, and there’s reason to believe that situation could change soon. 

 

There’s recent precedent for a thermal barrier in the Igushik, and Sands said that has given him a sense of what might happen this year. And even though Igushik escapement has been low, that deficit hasn’t showed up in the section’s harvest numbers.

 

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