Commercial fishermen across Bristol Bay are waiting on fish and fishing time as the sockeye run appears to be building slowly. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s run summary for Sunday does not note any commercial harvest on Sunday despite the fact that there were setnet openings in the Ugashik District and the Igushik Section of the Nushagak District. In those 2 areas Fish and Game is precluded from reporting the harvest information because of the confidentially restrictions when there are less than 3 processors buying fish. That means that the official harvest total through Sunday stays at just over 281-thousand sockeye. The harvest down in the Ugashik District is just over 4-thousand and in the Egegik District the official harvest is 115.4-thousand sockeye. The harvest in the Naknek-Kvichak District is 154.6-thousand and the season total harvest in the Nushagak District is just 6.1-thousand. The official harvest total in the Togiak District is 815.
Now looking at the escapement information. Another 23.2-thousand sockeye were counted as escapement to the Egegik River on Sunday to push the season total to 73.1-thousand. ADF&G reports that there are another 70-thousand sockeye estimated to be in the Egegik River that have not yet been counted as escapement. Fish and Game reports that just 342 sockeye were counted as escapement to the Kvichak River, which pushes the season total to 2.3-thousand. The escapement count to the Naknek River was 26.3-thousand sockeye to push the season total to 38.6-thousand fish. Sunday’s sockeye escapement to the Igushik River was just 60-fish to push the season total to just 156. Sockeye escapement to the Nushagak River was counted at 5.8-thousand on Sunday to push the season total to just over 46-thousand fish. The escapement count to the Wood River was 10.5-thousand sockeye to push the season total up to 65.3-thousand. The enumeration projects on the Ugashik and Togiak Rivers are not yet up and running. Commercial fishermen can freely move around in the Eastside Districts until Wednesday but many drift fishermen have apparently already registered for their districts. The official vessel count in the Egegik District is 22 and the count in the Naknek-Kvichak is 21. The vessel count in the Togiak District is 46 vessels and the count down in the Ugashik District is 4 drift vessels. The largest registered fleet in the Bay is the 222 drift vessels in the Nushagak District. The total sockeye run to Bristol Bay through Thursday was just 576.7-thousand fish. That includes harvest, escapement and the in-river estimate for the Egegik River.