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Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 10, 2022

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Bristol Bay had 3.8 million fish come through the region on Saturday, the baywide run is now 53.8 million. The Nushagak District harvested another million fish and harvest there is now the second largest for the district on record.

MESSAGES TO THE FLEET

Lars Hanson out on the Ranney set net camp in Egegik:

Happy 21st birthday! Don’t drink the whiskey, give it to your father since you drank all of his whiskey last year.

I hope you enjoy the brothel cake that the girls are making for you. It’s got cherries and chocolate on it.

From the park ranger

To Nick on the Sumo:

“We love and miss you! We are ready for you to come home!”

- Margs and Livy

The numbers

Bristol Bay had about 3.8 million fish come through the region yesterday. 2.9 million were harvested to make a cumulative count of 41.1 million fish this season – the fourth largest harvest on record.

867,768 fish escaped for a total of 11.7 million spawners this summer so far. Another 895,000 fish are estimated between the nine rivers.

The total baywide run is now 53.8 million fish.

Nushagak District

Nushagak District had 1.2 million fish come through yesterday, the total run so far is 24.8 million fish.

Fisherfolk had another day with harvest at over 1 million fish with cumulative harvest at 18.5 million – now the second largest harvest for that district on record. Average drifters brought in 1,109 fish per delivery.

231,744 sockeye escaped for a count of 6.26 million so far.

Nushagak River

The Nushagak River had 58,069 fish come through the river there. Cumulative escapement for the Nushagak is 3.1 million fish.

57,084 were sockeye for a total of 3 million fish.

794 chum returned for a count of 81,113.

And 191 Chinook returned for a count of 42,380 fish.

Wood River

The Wood River had 165,840 fish come through on Saturday with another 45,384 fish this morning for a total of over 3 million fish.

Igushik River

The Igushik River had another 8,820 fish come through with 3,870 this morning. Total escapement there is now 186,294.

Togiak District

The Saturday run in Togiak had 16,620 fish counted. 12,000 were harvested with average drift deliveries at 184 fish. Total harvest there is now 93,731.

The other 4,620 fish made it past the counting tower there to join 14,730 of their friends. The total run in Togiak is now 108,461.

Naknek-Kvichak District

The Naknek-Kvichak District Saturday run counted about 1.1 million fish. The total run there is now 11.4 million returning sockeye.

Harvest yesterday was at 736,000 fish for a total harvest of 7.25 million sockeye. Average drift deliveries there were about 1,383 sockeye. Escapement was at 418,896 for a count of 3.52 million along with another 600,000 estimated in the rivers.

Naknek River

The Naknek River had the smallest returns for that district on Saturday – only 66,642 fish made it past the tower for a total of 1.17 million this season.

Kvichak River

The Kvichak River had the biggest count come by their tower with 264,348 fish swimming past along with another 600,000 estimated in that river. Kvichak escapement now sits at 1.77 million sockeye.

Alagnak River

The Alagnak had 87,906 fish counted for a running total of 587,514 fish so far.

Egegik District

In Egegik, 754,006 fish were counted with another 120,000 fish estimated in the river for a total run so far of 13.3 million salmon.

Harvest on Saturday was 655,000 fish for a count of 11.8 million salmon in nets. Average drift delivery was 1,421 sockeye. 99,006 fish escaped past them for a count of 1.34 million fish.

Ugashik District

Over to Ugashik, 639,502 fish were counted along with another 175,000 estimated in the river there for a total of 4.2 million this season.

Fisherfolk brought in 526,000 there with average drift deliveries at 2,512 sockeye. Total harvest is now 3.48 million.

Escapement was at 113,502 for a count of 619,464 fish, a fair bit above the lower boundary of their escapement goal.

Vessel Registrations

In Egegik, there are 276 permits on 214 boats. Those numbers drop by one by Tuesday. DBoast will stay the same at 62.

The Naknek-Kvichak District has 395 permits now, but that will rise to 511 in two days. The number of vessels will go from 331 to 412 and the number of DBoats will go from 66 to 101.

The Nushagak District has 682 permits now, which will drop to 662 on Tuesday. The number of vessels will go from 507 to 495 and DBoats will drop from 177 to 169.

The togiak district has 37 permits on 37 boats, and that will stay the same for two days.

The Ugashik District will grow from 206 permits to 246, the number of vessels from 157 to 190, and Dboats will go from 50 to 57 by Tuesday.

Chignik Weir Counts

The Chignik River Weir counted 29,999 sockeye and 36 Chinook yesterday. 17,986 sockeye were part of the Early Run, which is now above its lower boundary for their escapement goal with 361,040. The Late Run had 12,013 fish for a count of 65,737 sockeye, and the total Chinook run so far is now 206.

Area M 

Area M intercept fisherfolk caught 238,114 fish yesterday for a total harvest of 8.15 million fish on Saturday. 238,028 of them were sockeye, 80 were chum, 4 Chinook, and 2 were pinks.

Total harvest for each species is now 6.5 million sockeye, 1.17 million pinks, 579,290 chum, 5,447 Chinook, and 436 silvers.

Port Moller numbers 

The Port Moller Test Fishery saw catches pick up and nearly every station along the transect caught fish. Technician Michael Link says numbers like this at this point in the season could mean an uptick in fish passage or a change in the vulnerability of the run. Both of which contribute to late season bumps in their indices.

Enough fish were caught that the test fishery will run one more stock composition this year for July 8 and 9.

Station -1 caught zero fish.

Station 2 caught 15 fish in the 4 ½ inch mesh and 9 fish in the 5 ⅛. That catch index is 46.

Station 4 caught 4 fish in the 4 ½ inch mesh and 1 fish in the 5 ⅛. That catch index is 10.

Station 6 caught 1 fish in the 4 ½ inch mesh and 0 fish in the 5 ⅛. That catch index is 2.

Station 8 caught 1 fish in the 4 ½ inch mesh and 8 fish in the 5 ⅛. That catch index is 16.

Station 10 caught 24 fish in the 4 ½ inch mesh and 21 fish in the 5 ⅛. That catch index is 73.

Station 12 caught 2 fish in the 4 ½ inch mesh and 3 fish in the 5 ⅛. That catch index is 9.

Station 14 caught 16 fish in the 4 ½ inch mesh and 26 fish in the 5 ⅛. That catch index is 68.

Station 16 caught 1 fish in the 4 ½ inch mesh and 10 fish in the 5 ⅛. That catch index is 21.

Station 18 caught 41 fish in the 4 ½ inch mesh and 16 fish in the 5 ⅛. That catch index is 104.

Station 20 caught 0 fish in the 4 ½ inch mesh and 6 fish in the 5 ⅛. That catch index is 14.

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.