Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 3, 2019

Jul 3, 2019

Nushagak had a big day yesterday – the catch was 855,000. Egegik’s total harvest has passed 3.2 million, while the Kvichak is still low on escapement. And more than 200,000 sockeye have now passed the Chignik Weir.


Credit Alex Hager/KDLG

At 28,800 fish, Kvichak’s escapement has been lagging this season. But stock composition numbers from Port Moller indicate they might see a bump soon.



We break down the numbers with management biologist Travis Elison, who’s optimistic about meeting the lower end goal of 2 million. 



In the sixth round of stock composition estimates, a total of 666 fish were analyzed. 31% were going to Egegik, 27% were headed to the Wood River, 23.5% were going to the Nushagak, 9% were moving toward the Naknek. and 4% were heading to the Kvichak. 


Credit Courtesy of Port Moller Test Fishery

There has been a rash of bear break-ins in Naknek. Wanda Kie-Miller said that around 3:00 a.m this morning a bear broke down the front door of her house. Wanda’s friend was downstairs when the bear broke in.

“I came from my bedroom and looked about top of the stairs, and it was looking right at me - it was in the windrake," she said. "His head was looking, I don’t know if it saw Tom or not. Tom went down and got the pistol and shot at him and he took off and yeah, it was pretty scary. Didn’t expect that.”

Kie-Miller’s daughter, Stephannie Blatchford, saw the aftermath of what she believes was a bear break in at her grandparents’ house about a week-and-a-half-ago. Her grandparents weren’t home at the time.  

“I just happened to go over there cause I needed to water it and I looked around the corner and their whole backyard was full of trash and that scared me, and I started running back to my mom’s house to go get them to clean it up; they were due back home within three hours of me finding it," she said.

Dave Crowley, a wildlife biologist with ADF&G, said the bear activity is normal for this time of year. He also said that canneries and processors dealt with some bear interference before processing began in June. However, the bear activity around the residential areas of the Alaska Peninsula Highway is unusual, and it seems like it’s one individual bear that has developed a habit of breaking into houses.

“With this particular bear he’s going through the front doors so the normal precautions aren’t really all that effective," he said. "Wanda’s home might have been first place that was occupied with people that he actually broke into. The two previous places... one was a house that was unoccupied and got into groceries and the other was a warehouse and he broke down that door and got into some freezers.”

Crowley advised sticking to basic safety precautions, like ensuring that food and trash is secured. And for this particular bear, he advised one extra step. 


"You know if folks in that neighborhood have a deadbolt, in addition to the regular doorknob - I would you know throw that deadbolt and just be aware if something goes bump in the middle of the night at the front door should start paying attention," he said.

Bears at Katmai National Park & Preserve on June 30, 2019.
Credit Sage Smiley/KDLG

Nushagak had a big day yesterday – the catch was 855,000, for a total of 6.4 million. Escapement across the district was 111,200, with a cumulative of 1.36 million. 

25,400 sockeye passed the Nushagak River Sonar yesterday, bringing the total to 405,100. There were 28,600 chum, for a cumulative 228,500. And the sonar counted only 791 Chinook yesterday for a total of 37,100. 

The Wood River tower counted 11,600 fish this morning, and 82,200 yesterday. The total is now 949,200.

It’s hot, and the Igushik is feeling it. Yesterday’s escapement was only 3,600. As of 6 a.m. this morning, escapement was at 2,200, for a total of 28,700. 

Togiak caught 25,000 yesterday for a cumulative of 56,200. 

On the east side, the Naknek-Kvichak District caught a total of 282,000 yesterday, for a cumulative 1.56 million. Escapement across the district was 70,800. The cumulative is 596,000. 

The Naknek River had a daily escapement of 57,400, for a total of 555,500. 9,800 escaped up the Kvichak yesterday for a total of 28,800. And the Alagnak had 3,500 fish pass the counting tower for a cumulative escapement of 11,600. 

In Egegik, the daily catch was 382,000 for a total of 3.2 million. Escapement yesterday was at 40,300, for a total of 547,200. 

In Ugashik, the catch from yesterday’s 12 hour opener was 27,000, bringing the total harvest to 110,400. Daily escapement was 4,000 for a cumulative 12,000. 


Catch this program nightly live at 6 p.m., with replays at 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. on AM 670, and online at (With early broadcasts of the numbers Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 p.m.)

Letters from home to your friends and family in the Bay this summer? Email us at or call 907-842-5281.

Have feedback or suggestions of something you'd like to hear? Reach Izzy Ross / Tyler Thompson / Alex Hager / Sage Smiley (in Naknek)

Contact the author at 907-842-2200.