Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 17, 2020

Jul 17, 2020

The total run in Bristol Bay is 800,000 fish shy of 50 million for the year so far, total harvest is at 32 million fish as of yesterday. We have more information about the impending subsistence closures and restrictions in the Chigniks. We also hear from fishermen in the area about the season so far.

Credit KDLG/Brian Venua

Full show: 

The Numbers

Baywide daily harvest yesterday came in at 1.4 million. The cumulative catch is up to 32 million fish. Total Baywide escapement is 16.4 million fish. The total run in Bristol Bay is 800 thousand shy of 50 million fish, sitting at 49.2 million.

 Let’s shimmy to the numbers starting on the West Side.

 Nushagak District

The Nugashak District’s daily catch was at 225,000 bringing the cumulative catch over the 8 million mark. That total harvest is attributed 3% to Igushik set-netters, 26% to Nugashik set-netters and 69% to the drift fleet.

District-wide, escapement was 102,000 fish in the Nushagak district, for a total district escapement of 3.7 million fish. Breaking escapement by river:

Nushagak River

The Nushagak sonar crew saw 12,000 sockeye pass yesterday. Cumulative sockeye escapement in the Nushagak river to 1.1 million fish.

The crew counted 1,000 kings yesterday, total escapement is 41,000. They also saw 580 chum, that escapement is now up to 108,000.

 Wood River

In the Wood River, the counting tower spotted 12,000 fish before 6:00 a.m. this morning. Total escapement in the river resides at 2 million as of yesterday. 


The counting tower at the Igushik River saw 5,000 fish pass through before 6:00 a.m. this morning, total escapement in the Igushik is at 210,000 fish. 


Over in the Togiak District, fishermen caught 8,000 fish for the second day in a row, bringing the total catch to 153,000.

The Togiak counting crew counted 700 fish before 6:00 a.m. this morning, escapement is now at 43,000 fish. 

Jumping over to the east side…


The Naknek-Kvichak back at it again with the largest daily harvest of 577,000 fish yesterday.

Total harvest in the Naknek-Kvichak is still the bay’s largest this season, at 11.7 million fish. That came 8% from Kvichak set-netters, 12% from Naknek set-netters, and 80% from the drift fleet. 

Across the Naknek-Kvichak district, yesterday’s daily escapement was 395,000 fish, bringing the season escapement in the district to 9.7million.

Let’s take a look at that escapement by river: 

 Alagnak River

The Alagnak River came in at 134,000 yesterday, bumping total escapement to just over two million.

Kvichak River

In the Kvichak River, yesterday’s escapement was up at 187,000 fish. Total escapement in the Kvichak River is 3.7 million fish. The Kvichak also has a 250,000-fish in-river estimate. 

Naknek River

And in the Naknek River, 73,000 fish escaped yesterday. That makes the Naknek’s escapement for the season 3.9 million fish so far. 

In total, the run in the Naknek-Kvichak district is 21.6 million fish--the largest in the bay.


In Egegik, harvest was 447,000 fish yesterday, making the cumulative harvest in Egegik 10.7 million. The total catch came 86% from the drift fleet and 14% from the set-netters. 

Egegik’s daily escapement was 88,000 fish yesterday, pushing escapement in the district to 2.2 million . In total, Egegik’s run is approaching 13 million at 12.9 million fish--the second largest run at this point.


In the Ugashik district, daily harvest yesterday was down to 191,000 fish. Total harvest in the Ugashik district is 1.3 million fish, attributed 27% to the set-netters and 73% to the drift fleet.

Total Ugashik escapement is just over 1 million fish! Daily escapement was 123,000.

There is also a 325,000-fish in-river estimate, the same as Wednesday’s estimate. Altogether, the total Ugashik run is 2.7 million fish so far this season.


The Chignik River crew counted through 567 king salmon as of yesterday . Escapement for king salmon in the Chignik river is unlikely to meet its lower range goal of 1,300 fish.  

Federal and state fishing will be closed in the Chignik River through July 18 until August 9 at 11:59 p.m. due to the low king salmon escapement. Sportfishing targeted at king’s will also be closed starting tomorrow.

Kings longer than 28 inches may not be retained in the Chignik District starting tomorrow as well. For more context on these closures, we caught up with ADF&G area management biologist Ross Renic, to provide some further context to the impending closures.


A reminder that those closures and restrictions go into effect tomorrow at 12:01 a.m. We will be right back. 


Camai CHC health worker tests positive for COVID-19:

A staff member of the Camai Community Health Center in Naknek has tested positive for COVID-19. Camai announced the case today. The clinic says the person is not a resident of the Bristol Bay Borough, and is currently in isolation. 

Camai said that the person tested positive during the clinic’s weekly testing of staff members as part of its COVID-19 mitigation plan. Contact tracing is underway, and some additional staff of the Camai clinic are in quarantine out of an abundance of caution.

Clinic director Mary Swain said the clinic has identified two community members who *might* be close contacts of the infected staff member, depending on the nature of their visits to the clinic. Those two community members have been notified of the contact. 

This case is the only positive case of COVID-19 currently in Bristol Bay Borough. 

The Camai clinic has extended the opportunity for anyone who visited the clinic between July 14 and July 16 to be tested for COVID-19. Walk-up testing is available Monday - Friday from 1-3 p.m. You can also call the clinic at 907-246-6155.


Chignik perspectives on subsistence closures 

KDLG’s Sage Smiley spoke with Chignik residents and fishermen Illane Ashby, Wallace Hinderer, and Ben and Raechel Allen about the future of the run and living in the city of Chignik. We will air other parts of that conversation in the next two weeks -- here is what Illane Ashby, and Ben and Raechel Allen had to say about yesterday’s announcement closing subsistence fishing of chinook salmon. You’ll hear Illane, then Ben, then Raechel. 

You heard from Illane Ashby, Ben Allen, and Raechel Allen. We’ll have more on the city of Chignik and the Chignik run in the coming weeks. 

As the season winds down, prices still in the shadows

KDLG’s Izzy Ross spoke with Andy Wink, executive director of BBRSDA. 


Many people listening right now are winding down their seasons and planning their journey’s home. Wink had a few safety reminders and announcements from BBRSDA.

Messages to the fleet:

To Captain Mike and the crew on the Bonnie B.   

Hope you’re season wrapped up with fish to the gunnels and stories to share.  Hope your return travels go well.   

A Charleston SC Mariner

William, we miss you soooo much! It’s a HOT and humid Louisiana July down here, so we wish we could come swimming in Bristol Bay right about now. We hope the fish are swimming real good and that you’re collecting some goooood stories to tell us. Come on down to sha-bill’s soon, ya hear?

We love you, and Go Tigers!

Love, Mom, Dad, Camille, John, and Harley

That’s all folks happy fishing, stay safe out there. We’ll have our regular numbers report coming up this weekend.


Contact us at or 907-842-2200


Correction: The percent allocations of harvest by gear type are calculated from the cumulative harvest, not the daily catch as initially reported.