Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: June 27, 2019

Jun 27, 2019

After a few days without openers in Ugashik, the district was back to fishing yesterday. We have the third set of stock composition numbers from Port Moller.

Fish caught in a Nushagak Bay set net on June 24, 2019.
Credit Alex Hager / KDLG

On tonight’s show, we talk with Axel Kopun, a Chignik fisherman and member of the Chignik Intertribal Coalition, about a petition the coalititon sent to the Board of Fisheries last week. We hear from Lisa Fox, the area management biologist for the South Peninsula. And we catch up on the situation in Ugashik with management biologist Paul Salamone.

In the Nushagak, yesterday’s harvest was 375,000, bringing the season’s cumulative harvest up to 2.4 million. Escapement in the district was 59,700, 40,600 of which came from the Wood River. 16,000 escaped up the Nushagak River and 3,000 up the Igushik. Total escapement so far in the whole district is 622,900.

Also on the West side, the Togiak caught 6,500 -- part of a season cumulative of 17,800. 

Taking a look at the East Side now...

The Naknek-Kvichak had a harvest of 106,000 yesterday, bringing the season total to 250,400 so far. The day’s escapement was 23,500 and the escapement so far this season is 167,000. Breaking it down by river system, 158,000 fish have made it up the Naknek River, with just 7,000 up the Kvichak and 2,000 up the Alagnak.

In the Egegik district, yesterday’s harvest was 189,000 -- part of a cumulative harvest of 922,600 to date. Big escapement numbers yesterday in the Egegik, with 102,400 fish making it up river. The season total there is 274,900.

And finally, the Ugashik was back to fishing for the first time in a few days. Yesterday’s harvest was 15,000, part of a season cumulative of 17,800. The in-river estimate in the Ugashik is 5,000.

The biggest 48-hour bump in permits and vessels is in Egegik. That district had 392 permits and 306 vessels as of 9 AM today, but that’ll go up to 430 permits and 334 vessels for Saturday at 9 AM. It’ll also pick up 10 D-Boats, going from 86 to 96.

 

From Port Moller, we’ve got the test fishery’s third stock composition estimate. This one is from June 23rd and 24th across stations 2 through 22.

35 percent of the fish sampled were heading to the Wood River

34 percent were going to the Egegik

13 percent headed for the Naknek

11 percent were on their way to the Nushagak

And 6 percent were headed for the Ugashik

The Kuskokwim, Togiak, Igushik, Kvichak, Alagnak, and North Peninsula all saw less than 1 percent in that stock composition estimate.

On Tuesday, the Federal Office of Subsistence Management issued an emergency special action to close federal public waters to all but subsistence users in five communities. Now, the Chignik Intertribal Coalition issued a petition last week to the Board of Fish to close the Volcano Bay Section, South Central District and the Shumagin Islands Section to commercial fishing through August 8, or until the Chignik’s minimum early run escapement is reached. The coalition formed last year in response to the failed run there.

 

Area M is not a terminal fishery, and it is not managed based on escapement, like most of the other fisheries. But the Southeastern District Mainland Section below the Chigniks is dependent on the strength of the run. It is currently closed off to commercial fishing because the Chignik fisheries haven’t met their escapement. If the Chigniks have commercial openers and are forecasted to harvest a certain amount, the Southeastern District Mainland is allocated 7.6% of the harvest.