Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 23, 2019

Jul 23, 2019

Things are winding down for the season but fish are still coming in Ugashik. Across the bay, all river systems have now met their lower end escapement goals for the season.

Boats wait in Chignik's harbor, where the city has been troubled by months without fishing.
Credit Alex Hager / KDLG

Things are winding down for the season but fish are still coming in Ugashik. Across the bay, all river systems have now met their lower end escapement goals for the season. 

 

 

On the west side, the Nushagak’s run is down to a trickle, but as of 6 a.m. this morning, the Igushik has surpassed the lower end of its escapement goal range. And with 2 million in escapement, the Wood River tower is done counting for the season.

 

Things are definitely slowing down in the Nushagak District. The daily harvest was only 18,000 for a total of 14.7 million. Escapement across the district was 33,100. Cumulative escapement is now almost 3 million. The total run is at 17.6 million. 

Igushik’s escapement was 29,700 fish yesterday. As of 6 a.m. this morning, it has surpassed the lower end of its escapement goal range of half a million. 

The Nushagak is still seeing a steady trickle of fish. Yesterday, 3,500 passed the sonar for a total escapement of 682,300. 

The Wood River tower is finished for the season, so no more escapement numbers there. The total escapement for the season is 2 million. 

Togiak’s daily harvest has jumped -- the fleet brought in 52,000 for a total of 598,200. 

Yesterday when we said that all five districts had met their lower end escapement, we were actually off -- Togiak was still 1,000 fish below its minimum of 120,000. That is no longer the case. Yesterday’s escapement was 10,000 for a total of 129,000. That pushes them above their lower end goal. The total run there is 727,184. 

Over on the east side, Ugashik is still fishing hard. The district caught 124,000 fish yesterday for a total of 849,600 fish. Daily escapement was 295,200 for a total of 885,300. The total run there is now at 1.7 million. 

Egegik hauled in 129,000 yesterday for a total of 14.5 million. Escapement was 19,000 for a cumulative of 2.3 million. And the total run is now 16.8 million. 

In the Naknek-Kvichak, the daily harvest was 93,000 for a total of 11.2 million. Escapement was at 123,300 for a cumulative 6 million. That is the largest of all the districts. The distant second is Nushagak’s escapement of 2.9 million. 

Breaking those numbers down by river, 78,300 fish escaped up the Kvichak, bringing the total to 2.3 million. The Alagnak River saw 25,300 fish yesterday, for a total of 797,500. And the Naknek’s escapement was 19,900 yesterday for a total of 2.8 million. That district’s cumulative harvest is now 17.6 million.

Across the bay, the total run is now 54.1 million. The cumulative harvest is just under 42 million, and 12.2 million fish have escaped so far this season. 

 

Over on the peninsula, the North Peninsula’s Area M has harvested 1.7 million sockeye. The South Pen has harvested 1 million sockeye and 10.4 million pinks. 

 

Yesterday’s escapement at the Chignik Weir was down from the past few days. It was 6,700 yesterday, pushing the cumulative escapement to 502,000. 

That fleet has been getting some fishing opportunity. The 48 hour extension there runs through Thursday. 

 

As we move toward the end of the season, attention is turning toward prices. Izzy Ross caught up with KDLG’s Sage Smiley, who has been looking into prices this season.  

Icicle has posted 40 cents for chum, which also exceeds last year’s 36 cent baywide average per pound of chum. 

Togiak Seafoods has not posted a base price yet. 

At this time last year, Copper River Seafoods had bumped their price for chilled, bled and separated sockeye from $1.30 to $1.70. When we called Copper River today, they declined to comment.

 

 

While the fish have been coming in steady in many parts of Bristol Bay, some fisheries on the South Peninsula hasn’t been as lucky. I took a trip to Chignik Bay, where the fish have been few and the outlook is getting grim.

 If you have questions, comments, or messages to the fleet, feel free to send them to fish@kdlg.org or give us a call at 842-5281.