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Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 4, 2022

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Brian Venua
/
KDLG
Boats anchored just outside of the Dillingham Harbor.

The Nushagak fleet had another million-day catch on Sunday, but Egegik wasn’t far behind. Ugashik fisherfolk continue to bring in the biggest loads as the bay-wide run edges near 30 million fish.

Sen Dan Sullivan hosts fisheries roundtable as part of U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai's visit to Alaska

Alaska U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan hosted a fisheries roundtable last week for U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai. She is part of President Biden’s cabinet and represents the United States in trade deals across the globe.

KDLG's Corinne Smith on U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai's visit to Alaska

Harbormaster Jean Barett Retires
You might know Jean, or Jeano Barett as the Harbor Master in Dillingham for the last 14 years, but he retired this June. KDLG’s Brian Venua sat down with Jean to talk about why he chose to retire, his biggest accomplishments, and what he’s up to now.

04Jeano.mp3

Messages to the fleet

Happy July 4th to Captain Mike "Fishhead" Fourtner and the hard-working crew on the newly christened "Twin Tuition" on he first season earning her way on the bay! Every challenged faced in making this season's opener in time showed how fisherman and the industry rallied to help. Have a great season, be safe and watch that line. Take baby pictures! From the crew of the Deborah Ann - Charleston SC

To Lewis and Joanna on Coffee Point - call home. Happy 4th of July.

The numbers
3.32 million salmon came through Bristol Bay’s nets and rivers on Sunday, bringing the cumulative run to nearly 30 million salmon.

2.65 million salmon were harvested for a running total harvest of 22.7 million salmon.

486,140 fish evaded the nets and made it up rivers to join over 7 million friends who have spawned.

Let’s break that down by district.

Nushagak District

The Nushagak District saw about 1.2 million fish come through for a district-wide total of 15.9 million fish so far.

Nushagak fisherfolk continue to haul in huge numbers of fish; over 1 million more salmon were caught in their nets on Sunday with average drift deliveries at 1,122 sockeye.

180,662 fish swam past them for a combined total of nearly 5 million escaped salmon in the district’s three rivers.

Let’s break that down.

Nushagak River

Just 68 Chinook escaped past the sonar on Sunday, bringing the cumulative total to 41,154.

A big pulse of chum swam past the sonar on Saturday. On Sunday, the daily escapement was lower, at 1,435. Total chum escapement is at 74,849.

After a significant bump on Saturday, sockeye escapement was down at 68,030. The Nushagak’s total sockeye escapement is at 2.6 million

Wood River

The Wood River run followed that pattern as well – after a huge pulse on Saturday, Sunday’s run was lower. But it was still big – about 93,522 salmon swam past the counting tower on Sunday. Another 18,090 were counted as of 6 a.m. this morning. The total run up the Wood is now at 2.2 million fish.

Igushik River

Igushik’s tower crew counted 19,110 salmon swim past on Sunday, and another 3,474 pass as of 6 a.m. this morning. The river’s cumulative escapement is now at 125,484.

Togiak

Togiak’s fleet is back out on the water today. The current harvest is 21,025 sockeye.

Naknek-Kvichak District

The Naknek-Kvichak District saw about 807,304 fish for a total run so far of 4.76 million fish.

Harvest on Sunday was 580,000 fish for a total catch of 3.5 million with average drift deliveries of 1,435 sockeye.

Escapement there was 227, 304 between the three rivers for a total count of 1.2 million fish.

And to break it down by river,

Naknek River

Naknek River escapement was 37,308 fish for a cumulative of 648,426.

Kvichak River

Kvichak River escapement was 139,504 for a cumulative of 432,138.

The Kvichak in-river estimate is 100,000.

Alagnak River

Alagnak River escapement was 51,492 for a cumulative of 104,760.

Egegik

The Egegik River had a big run, 767,284 fish came through the district for a run total of 7.5 million salmon.

Fisherfolk harvested 720,000 with an average of 1,716 sockeye per drift delivery for a cumulative harvest of 6.73 million and 46,284 fish escaped for a total of 787,500 salmon in the river this season. Another 35,000 are estimated to be in the river.

Ugashik

Ugashik fishermen had a big haul on Sunday: The fleet caught 334,000 salmon, for a total harvest of 1.56 million with average drift deliveries at 2,689 sockeye. 31,890 fish escaped past the counting tower, for a cumulative total of 94,794. There are an estimated 40,000 fish in the Ugashik River. The total run there is at 1.6 million.

Vessel Registrations

In Egegik, there are currently 336 permits on 261 vessels, 75 of which are DBoats. On Wednesday, there will be 347 permits on 272 boats and the number of DBoats will stay the same.

In the Naknek-Kvichak District, 291 permits in the bay will grow to 315 on Wednesday. The number of boats will also increase from 252 to 270 with the number of DBoats rising from 41 to 47.

The Nushagak District continues to hold the biggest fleet with 880 permits on 652 boats, 230 of which are DBoats. That will stay the same for the next two days.

In Togiak, there are 31 permits on 31 boats, and it will stay that way through Wednesday.

In the Ugashik District, 120 permits on 89 boats will grow to 162 permits on 123 boats. The number of DBoats will also rise from 31 to 39 on Wednesday.

Chignik Weir

At the Chignik River, 24,607 early run sockeye swam past the weir on Sunday, and 5,867 late run fish swam through.

The total early run escapement is at 268,684. That is just 10,000 fish away from its lower-end forecast. The escapement goal for the early run is between 350,000 and 450,000 sockeye.

Chignik’s cumulative late run escapement is at 23,332. That escapement range is between 220,000 and 400,000 fish.

Just 24 Chinook swam through the weir on Sunday. That may sound small, but it actually more than doubled their king escapement, which is now at 43.

Here is some context

Area M 

Area M is closed to fishing until Wednesday, July 6.

Port Moller Test Fishery

Try to include extra information sent in the emails ex. Severe weather, if the stations have moved, updates on genetic information, etc.

Stations 0, 2, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14 caught zero fish.

Station 4 caught 1 fish in the 4 ½ inch mesh and 0 fish in the 5 ⅛. That catch index is 3.

Station 15 caught 47 fish in the 4 ½ inch mesh and 71 fish in the 5 ⅛. That catch index is 221.

Station 16 caught 67 fish in the 4 ½ inch mesh and 49 fish in the 5 ⅛. That catch index is 170.

Station 18 caught 6 fish in the 4 ½ inch mesh and 8 fish in the 5 ⅛. That catch index is 27.

Station 20 caught 8 fish in the 4 ½ inch mesh and 1 fish in the 5 ⅛. That catch index is 23.

Stock Composition update:

Technicians say stock composition samples for July 2 and July 3 have been transferred to the onboard gene lab, and they aim to release those results by Tuesday morning.

Izzy Ross is the news director at KDLG, the NPR member station in Dillingham. She reports, edits, and hosts stories from around the Bristol Bay region, and collaborates with other radio stations across the state.
Corinne Smith is a reporter and producer who grew up in Oakland, California and on her family’s horse ranch in rural San Rafael, CA, a contrast that nurtured a deep appreciation for the complexities of identity and belonging, and connection to place, land and the natural world. She began her reporting career at KPFA in Berkeley, first as a general assignment reporter and then as lead producer of UpFront, a daily morning news and public affairs show. In 2020, she served as the summer reporter for KFSK in Petersburg where she first got hooked on Alaska stories. For the last year, she's been a general assignment reporter for KHNS based in Haines, and thrilled to experience a new part of Alaska and cover the Bristol Bay fishing season this summer with KDLG!
Brian Venua grew up in Dillingham and attended Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. He got his start in journalism at KDLG in 2020, interviewing and writing for the Bristol Bay Fisheries Report and signed on as a full-time host and reporter later that year.