Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 17, 2021

Jul 17, 2021

We’ve officially passed 60 million salmon in Bristol Bay waters as of yesterday!  The run is slowing down a bit but it’s still anyone’s guess for what the final numbers will look like. Runs today are generally lower yesterday but comparable to most of the week with Ugashik's run continuing to lead the other rivers. 

An underwater shot of salmon under the bridge to Aleknagik's North shore.
Credit Brian Venua/KDLG

Messages to the Fleet

Big shout out to the skipper and crew of the F/V Bigg Skiff in Ugashik! Hope you guys are having a good season. Sounds like the nets are sinking! Hurray for ugashik! Lay one out on the north line for me! From your good friend in Oregon, Patrick!

Shannon Evans on F/V Rib Rib: Happy birthday to my galley wench! Hope you have an amazing day, love from all your family and friends Birch Bay. Love Carol  

To Mojo on the F/V Corsair: make it a game! – love mom 


 

The numbers

We’ve officially passed 60 million salmon in Bristol Bay waters as of yesterday! The total run so far this season is 60.7 million fish bay wide, nearly 10 million fish over the forecast. The run is slowing down a bit but it’s still anyone’s guess for what the final run will look like. 

Bay-wide catch is winding down a bit but still strong with 720,000 salmon being caught yesterday. Total catch is now around 37.1 million. Escapement yesterday is lower but comparable to most of the week, 924,253 fish swam up the rivers that feed into Bristol Bay, with Ugashik taking nearly 2/3rds of the bay’s escapement. Total escapement this season is now nearing 23 million. 

Nushagak District

The Nushagak District continues its decline as only 168,000 fish were caught yesterday, just 2/3rds of what it was the day before.
Average drift delivery is just 424 sockeye. The Nushagak’s total harvest is now 17.2 million. 

Nushagak drift nets have caught around 81% of that cumulative harvest, while Nushagak set netters have totaled 13% and Igushik set netters have hauled in just under 3%.

Yesterday, 128,569 fish escaped in rivers across the district, for a cumulative escapement of about 9.4 million.

The district’s total run is now at 26.7 million fish. 

Nushagak River

Sockeye runs are on a bit of a decline on the Nushagak River -- yesterday’s escapement was about half of what it was two days ago, at 30,445 salmon. The Nushagak’s sockeye escapement is now over 4.6 million. 

The Chinook once again on a lull, only 85 kings swam up the river, bringing the season’s total escapement to 53,107.

The chum run continues to decline with only 670 fish making it up river. The chum run sum is 121,889. 

Wood River

The Wood River’s salmon run is also on a downward trend, with 69,636 fish swimming by yesterday, and another 23,388 this morning. The Wood River’s total escapement is just over 4.1 million. 

Igushik River

The Igushik River’s run remains steady -- 28,488 fish swam past the counting tower yesterday, and another 6,288 passed as of 6 a.m. today. The total escapement on the Igushik is 760,488 fishies.

Togiak

Togiak’s daily haul was on par with previous days with 15,000 for the second day in a row, bringing the total catch to almost 99,020. The drift fleet hauled in an average of 316 sockeye per delivery yesterday. 

Looking at counts from the Togiak River tower, 9,798 fish escaped yesterday, and another 3,462 escaped this morning. So far, 84,316 fish have escaped to the spawning grounds there.

Togiak’s total run is at 125,036.

Naknek-Kvichak District

Fishermen in the Naknek-Kvichak hauled in about half as much as the day before - 233,000 fish. The average drift delivery was down to 340. The district’s harvest total is now just above 8 million. 

Of that total catch, drift nets hauled in around 75%, while Naknek set netters caught 13% and Kvichak set netters harvesting the other 12%.

188,544 fish swam up rivers in that district yesterday bringing the total escapement for the Naknek-Kvichak to nearly 9.8 million. 

The total run there is now just below 18 million. 

Naknek River

The Naknek River tower counted 52,344 fish swimming upriver, bringing the total escapement to 2.6 million. 

Kvichak River

The Kvichak continues to lead the district in escapement -- 84,276 fish swam up river. That river’s total escapement is just below 4.4 million. 

The in-river estimate was a bit lower yesterday, with about 100,000 fish. 

Alagnak River

The Alagnak is close to the Naknek River in escapement yesterday, 51,924 fish swam through bringing the total escapement there to 2.7 million. 

Egegik 

Egegik fisherpeople hauled in 111,000 fish yesterday, about half of what they did the day before. The season total there is now 7.4 million.  The average drift delivery was 369 sockeye. 

Egegik’s drift fleet has harvested around 83% of the district’s cumulative catch, and set netters have pulled in just above 17%.

Escapement up the Egegik yesterday was 40,008, bringing that total to 1.74 million spawning salmon. 

The total run for the district is now 9.16 million. 

Ugashik

Ugashik fishermen continue to have the most fish in recent days, fisher folk caught about 186,000 fish and brought the cumulative catch to 4.16 million.

The average fish per drift delivery there continues to be the highest  sockeye delivered per boat at 686.

87% of the harvest went to the drift fleet while 13% went to set netters.

Escapement made a jump in the Ugashik as hovers in the half-million range of 557,334 fish escaping up the Ugashik River, bringing the district’s total escapement to 1.88 million.

The in-river estimate is currently 500,000 fish and the total run for the district is now 6.5 million. 

Chignik Weir Counts 

The Chignik weir counted 6,364 fish yesterday with 786 more sockeye swimming through the weir this morning. The season total for sockeye is now 242,868. The early run is about 242,668,131 and the late run is 64,200. 

The Chinook run remained weak; 18 kings passed the weir yesterday with 12 more this morning. The total Chinook run is now 426 fish. 

Area M 

Area M seems to be calming down -- here’s the break down the catch by species:

Sockeye catch was only 7,759 fish and the season total sits just below 5.4 million.

Only 22 pinks were caught, that season total still sits at 3.4 million fish.

A total of 47 Chum were caught. That total is 933,756 fish. 

No Chinook or coho were caught yesterday.   

Vessel registration Saturday July 17 9:00 a.m. to Monday July 19 9:00 a.m.

A total of 1,332 boats are currently registered in the bay, 394 of those were D-boats. On Sunday morning that number will take a small jump to 1,338, and 397 of those will be D-boats. 

There are 250 vessels registered in the Nushagak District, 61 of those are D-boats. That will decrease again by Monday morning, with 244 boats registered, 56 of which will be D-boats. 

In the Naknek-Kvichak district, there are 527 vessels registered, 139 of which are D-boats. That goes up to 543 on Monday - 144 of those will be D-boats. 

Egegik’s fleet has 220 vessels, 70 of which are D-boats. On Monday morning, 216 registered vessels, 68 of which will be D-boats.

Ugashik’s fleet has 300 vessels today, 124 of which are D-boats. In 48 hours, it will sit at 300 vessels, 125 of which will be D-boats. 

Finally, Togiak’s fleet sits at 35 and will remain the same through Monday. 

Contact the fish team at fish@kdlg.org or 907-842-2200