Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: June 23, 2019

Jun 23, 2019

Port Moller is showing signs of a run that’s right on time, and possibly above the preseason forecast. The Nushagak's daily catch jumped yesterday, and Egegik and Ugashik are holding off announcing more openers.

 

Looking out toward Nushagak Point.
Credit Isabelle Ross/KDLG

On the west side, the Nushagak District’s daily catch was 410,000, for a cumulative of 727,000. The total run is now at one million.

 

According to the preseason forecast, 8 million sockeye are potentially available for harvest in the Nushagak District commercial salmon fishery

After a big 35,000-fish push Friday in the Nushagak River, escapement yesterday was smaller, at 14,000. Cumulative escapement is at 116,800.

1,800 Chinook escaped up the river yesterday, for a total of 24,000. 7,500 chum escaped, for a total of 60,000.

The Wood River is picking up, with 14,400 by 6 a.m. this morning. Yesterday’s daily escapement was 21,700. The total is 238,000.

Fish and Game extended commercial fishing with set gillnets in the Nushagak District, that is both the Nushagak and Igushik Sections, until further notice.

Commercial fishing with drift gillnets will open in both the Nushagak and Igushik Sections, from 7:30 p.m. tonight, until 1:30 a.m. tomorrow morning. The following opener will be from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. tomorrow morning.

On the east side, Egegik now has a cumulative harvest of 223,100. Escapement yesterday was 22,900, for a total escapement of 50,000. Egegik’s total run is 278,000. The predicted available harvest is 7 million fish

Inriver indices dropped off last night and this morning. Tower counts yesterday showed that passage is about a day and a half from the inriver fishery to the tower. The department is now allowing some additional escapement before moving forward with more openers. Ugashik will remain closed tomorrow.

 

Naknek-Kvichak has a cumulative catch of 3,800. 5,000 fish escaped past the Naknek River tower yesterday, while 130 escaped up the Kvichak. Total escapement for that district is 5,900. The total run is at 9,700.

 

Based on the forecast, the projected harvest in the Naknek-Kvichak District is approximately 7.8 million sockeye salmon.

At the Chignik Weir, yesterday’s escapement was 16,600. As of noon today, the escapement was 7,000 reds. The total is 95,500.

In the South Peninsula’s Area M, total sockeye harvest is now at 503,000. Area M on the North Peninsula is at 96,400. And so far, 6.9 million pinks have been harvested so far.

 

Credit Courtesy Port Moller Test Fishery

Port Moller’s catch update from last night is in. Again, there was a substantial presence of fish across the entire transect, especially station 12, station 18 notwithstanding.

This year’s indices and catch and escapement are comparable to that of the years 2014 to 2018. Those years all produced runs of 40+ million.  That means this year’s run is likely not early, and is on track to be at or above the pre-season forecast of 39 million.

Yesterday, almost all stations across the transect performed well apart from station 18, which caught no fish. The average daily index was 36 -- the highest so far this season.

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 KDLG.org. (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 fish@kdlg.org 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 isabelle@kdlg.org 907-842-2200.