Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 18, 2020

Jul 18, 2020

The baywide run passed 50 million fish yesterday. Harvest is just below the preseason projections, but escapement baywide is almost 5 million fish higher than the preseason projection.


Boats at the mouth of the Naknek river, July 2019.
Credit Sage Smiley / KDLG

The run continues to march past the preseason forecast, and hit a new landmark yesterday: 50 million fish in the total run. Yesterday’s baywide harvest of 1.1 million fish bumped cumulative harvest in the bay to 33.3 million--just below the preseason projected harvest for the bay. Baywide escapement is now 16.9 million, almost 5 million over the preseason prediction. 

Average fish per drift delivery was below 800 in every district of the bay yesterday, but above 500 for every district besides Togiak. 



Nushagak District

A daily harvest of 188,000 fish in the Nushagak District means a total harvest in the Nushagak District is 8.3 million -- about a million and a half under the forecasted harvest of 9.7 million. That's credited 3% to Igushik set-netters, 25% to the Nushagak setters, and 69% to the drift fleet.

74,000 fish escaped across the Nushagak District yesterday, making total escapement in the district 3.5 million fish. Let’s break that into the rivers:

Igushik River

The Igushik River’s escapement was 22,000 fish yesterday. This makes total escapement in the Igushik River so far this season 232,000 -- the midpoint of its escapement goal range. 

Nushagak River

In the Nushagak River, 14,200 fish escaped yesterday, pushing cumulative escapement to almost 1.2 million, exceeding the upper end escapement goal range of 900,000 sockeye. 

Wood River

And the Wood River’s daily escapement of 37,600 brings Wood River total escapement to a little further over 2 million than it was yesterday. It has also exceeded its escapement goal range of 1.8 million fish. 

The Nushagak District’s total run is now 11.9 million--the third largest run in the bay at this point in the season.


In the Togiak District, fishers caught 8,500 fish yesterday, bumping the total harvest in Togiak to 161,000 fish. Its preseason forecasted harvest was almost 700,000.

Escapement in the Togiak District outpaced the catch yesterday: 9,000 fish escaped up the Togiak River. Total escapement in Togiak is 52,000 -- that’s about halfway to the lower-end escapement goal of 120,000. The Togiak District’s total run is 213,000 fish right now -- about a quarter of the way to its preseason forecast of 800,000. 

Jumping over to the east side…


The Naknek-Kvichak District had yesterday’s largest daily catch of 473,000. Total harvest in the Naknek-Kvichak District is 12.1 million, just under the forecasted harvest. The total catch is attributed 7% to Kvichak set-netters, 12% to Naknek set-netters, and 81% to the drift fleet.

Escapement district-wide in the Naknek-Kvichak District was almost 200,000 fish yesterday, pushing total escapement to allllmost 10 million. But it’s 9.9 million, if we’re being precise. 

Let’s take a look at escapement in the Naknek-Kvichak District by river:

Alagnak River

In the Alagnak River, daily escapement was 43,000 yesterday, bringing total escapement in the Alagnak River to 2 million. It was 2 million yesterday. Now it’s 2.08 million -- over four times its minimum escapement of 210,000. Anyway. 

Kvichak River

Escapement in the Kvichak River was 122,000 fish yesterday for a cumulative escapement so far this season of 3.7 million -- aroundddd the midpoint of its escapement goal range. There’s also a 100,000-fish in-river estimate in the Kvichak River. 

Naknek River

And in the Naknek River, yesterday’s escapement of 33,700 brings total escapement in the Naknek River to just barely under 4 million fish. That’s 2 million over its upper-end escapement goal range of 2 million fish. 

Total run in the Naknek-Kvichak District is now 22.2 million fish--the largest harvest in the bay right now. 


In the Egegik District, yesterday’s catch of 332,000 pushes Egegik’s cumulative harvest just over 11 million -- 2 and a half million more than the forecasted harvest. The total harvest is credited 14% to the set-netters and 86% to the drift fleet. 

A daily escapement in the Egegik River of 62,000 fish makes the cumulative escapement in the Egegik District 2.3 million. That exceeds its upper-end goal of 2 million. Altogether, Egegik’s run is now 13.3 million fish--the second largest in the bay. 


Ugashik’s daily harvest was 164,000 fish yesterday, which brings the cumulative season harvest in Ugashik to 1.5 million fish… about 2 million under the forecasted harvest of 3.3. The total catch so far came 25% from the set-netters and 75% from the drift fleet. 

119,000 fish escaped in Ugashik yesterday. Total escapement in Ugashik is 1.1 million fish -- that’s 300,000 under the upper end escapement goal range of 1.4 million. Accounting for the 250,000-fish in-river estimate, Ugashik’s total run so far is 2.9 million fish -- below its forecasted run of 4.5 million.

Permit registrations 18 July to 20 July

It’s time for permit registrations! It’s always time for permit registrations. It’s just time for me to tell you where the boats are fishing. There are 1,716 permits fishing on 1,334 vessels baywide. That’s 952 single permit vessels and 382 D boats. Those numbers will stay the same baywide over the next 48 hours, although there will be some minor shifts between districts. 

The Naknek-Kvichak district is being fished by 43% of the fleet or 554 boats, 174 of which are D boats. That will stay steady over the next two days. 

Egegik has 324 boats, 102 of which are D boats. That’s 24% of the fleet. At 9am on the 20th, that will increase by one boat for 325 boats, 103 of which will be D boats. 

The 243 boats, 47 D boats in the 18% of the fleet in the Nushagak district will also stay the same over the next couple of days. 

Togiak’s 3% fleet of 44 boats is not going to change in the next 48 hours.

The Ugashik district will lose 1 D boat to the Egegik district at 9am on Monday. Right now, there are 169 boats there, 59 of which are D boats. That’s 13% of the fleet. When the D boat leaves, that will be 168 boats, 58 of which will be D boats. 


We don’t have any updates from the Chignik weir. This is the first day of restrictions on king salmon subsistence harvest. 

Area M

Fishing on the south peninsula is, you guessed it, still closed, but here’s what harvest info we have:

Fleet harvested a total of 50,000 sockeye in Area M yesterday, bringing the season’s cumulative harvest of sockeye to 1.5 million. There was also a daily harvest of 18 kings, 47 coho, 54 pinks, and 207 chums in Area M yesterday. 

Messages to the fleet:

To Shannon Evans on the F/V Sinner - 

Happy 55th birthday to my galley wench. I tried to send the sea lion to you but Killz wouldn’t get into the box ‘cause it wouldn’t hold the water. He’s waiting for you to bring a salmon home to him. 

Love you handsome,

From your deck whore

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