Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 31, 2020

Jul 31, 2020

It’s the final Bristol Bay Fisheries Report of the season! A few stories about community on our last evening together. The bay smashed expectations this season -- the total run is the fifth largest ever recorded. We see how the districts measure up in the last daily run summary of the season.

Brian Venua and Tyler Thompson processing fish. June 29, 2020.
Credit Sage Smiley/KDLG

Chignik's 2020 run the lowest on record

Chignik’s early run of sockeye this year is the lowest on record. It failed to meet its lower-end escapement goal for the third year in a row. With commercial fishing at a standstill, the community is struggling to make ends meet. KDLG’s Sage Smiley has this report.

Bristol Bay’s culture camps find new opportunity, bringing activities to kids

For kids in Bristol Bay, summer is a time to explore, fish and hang out with friends. The pandemic has changed summer activities for everyone. But Dillingham’s annual culture camps went ahead -- with a few adjustments, and a few unexpected benefits have come out of a tough situation. KDLG’s Izzy Ross has the story.

Interested Bristol Bay communities can find out more by emailing debaier@alaska.edu. They can also call 907-843-0822.

Salmonfest goes virtual

Salmonfest: Streaming for Bristol Bay is going virtual this year. KDLG’s Izzy Ross spoke with Satchel Pondolfino, the community organizer in Homer for Cook Inletkeeper, about the online event.

The total Bay-wide run comes in at 57.8 million fish, the fifth largest run on record in Bristol Bay. 

Total harvest comes in at 39.2 million fish. That’s also the fifth largest harvest in the bay’s history. Bay-wide escapement is 18.6 million, the seventh largest on record. All rivers have met or exceeded their escapement goals. In fact, seven rivers exceeded their upper-end escapement goals. 

Let’s look at those totals by district, starting on the Westside:

Nushagak District

In the Nushagak District, total harvest is 8.9 million fish, the fifth largest harvest in district history. It’s also the third largest harvest across all districts this season. 

District-wide escapement this year is 3.7 million fish, the sixth largest in Bay history. 

Breaking that down by river, 

Igushik River

Daily escapement in the Igushik yesterday was 2,900. Total escapement there is at 317,800. That’s right in the middle of its goal range of 150 - 400,000.

Nushagak River

In the Nushagak River, cumulative escapement comes to 1.2 million. That exceeds its upper end escapement goal by about 300,000 fish.

Wood River

Wood River escapement for the season stands at 2.2 million. The Wood also went over its upper end escapement goal by around 300,000 fish.

Togiak

The Togiak District is still fishing, they caught 12,000 fish yesterday bringing cumulative harvest to 353,000 fish. Escapement was 15,000, bringing the cumulative escapement to 183,000 fish. That means it’s right in the middle of its escapement goal range of 120,000 to 270,000 sockeye.

Togiak’s total run is at 537,000 fish.

Looking at this year’s totals on the east side….

Naknek-Kvichak

The Naknek-Kvichak’s total harvest this season is 14.1 million fish, the tenth largest harvest in district history. The Naknek-Kvichak also recorded the largest total harvest in the Bay this season.

Escapement is 10.5 million fish, that’s the twelfth largest in district history.

The total run in the Naknek-Kvichak this year is 24.6 million fish, the twelfth largest run in the district’s history. 

Looking at the district’s escapement by river…

Alagnak River

The Alagnak’s escapement is at 2.3 million fish. That’s more than ten times its minimum escapement of 210,000. 

Kvichak River

The Kvichak met its escapement goals, with a season total of 4 million. That’s about the midpoint for its escapement goal range this season of between 2 and 10 million fish. 

Naknek River

Around 4.1 million fish escaped up the Naknek River this season. That’s two million over its upper end goal of 2 million sockeye.

Egegik

In Egegik, harvest is 13.2 million fish, marking its fifth largest harvest in district history. It’s the second largest harvest in the Bay this year. 

Egegik’s total escapement is 2.3 million fish, it’s the third largest escapement in district history. That means it also exceeded its upper end escapement goal by about 300,000 fish. In total, Egegik’s run is 15.6 million fish, its fifth highest run in district history.

Ugashik

In the Ugashik District, harvest totaled 2.6 million fish, its sixteenth largest harvest in history.

This year’s escapement in Ugashik District is 1.7 million fish, its fifth largest total in district history, putting it about 300,000 fish above its upper end escapement goal as well. 

The total run in Ugashik this year is 4.3 million fish, the fourteenth largest in district history.