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Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 2, 2024

The Hannah, Northline Seafoods' floating processor, anchors by Clarks Point in the Nushagak District.
The Hannah, Northline Seafoods' floating processor, anchors by Clarks Point in the Nushagak District.

The baywide catch yesterday fell slightly, with a haul of just under 880,000 fish across districts. Nushagak fleets brought in half of those fish, followed by fleets in the Naknek/Kvichak and Egegik. The mean catch index at Port Moller bounced back after yesterday’s catches, following a downward trend over the last five days. Test fishery crews also say that Kvichak fleets should expect a big influx of fish over the next few days.

Get in touch and share some perspective — give us a call at 907-842-5281 or send an email to If you’d like to get a message out to the fleet on this show, send your messages to the fleet to

An electrical fire occurred aboard the Hannah on Sunday, June 30th. That’s Northline Seafoods’ new Bristol Bay floating processor. According to a press release from Northline Seafoods, no one was injured, but the fire damaged one of the vessel's three spiral freezers, which Northline uses to freeze fish quickly to low temperatures before they are placed in cold storage.

The company said they will continue buying and freezing fish at a reduced capacity, as the timeline for the freezer’s repair is unknown. Northline says they alerted their fleet of the incident, and are working with other processors to come up with additional outlets for purchased fish in the meantime.

As of Wednesday, sport fishermen in the Nushagak will no longer be able to take home king salmon this season. That’s due to a new emergency order from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. That order is in response to the Nushagak King Action Plan, which is in place to protect declining king populations.

We will have more on both of those stories in tomorrow’s Bristol Bay Fisheries Report.

Messages to the fleet

To Steffen Refvik, in the Nushagak river on a drift boat—
Have yourself a great birthday and load up and have a bit of fun. Before you know it you will be middle age like us
—Your good friends, Karl and Craig

To my dearest and favorite fan, Steffen Refvik—
Have a great birthday and load up this year.
Sending you my latest album very soon
—Your friend,  Bruno Mars

The numbers

First, the numbers.

The baywide catch on Monday was 779,580 fish, bringing the total season catch to 4,467,069.

Cumulative escapement is at an estimated 3,805,899 so far.

The total run as of Monday, July 1 was estimated at 8,467,968 sockeye.


In the Nushagak District, fleets hauled in 442,069 fish on Monday, for a total of 2,901,891 fish, with an average drift delivery of 457 sockeye. The total run this season in the Nushagak District is now 6,262,290.

The drift fleet has caught 77.5% of that total harvest, while Nushagak set netters have harvested 19.7%, and set netters in the Igushik have harvested 2.8%.

Nushagak River

The Nushagak River sonar counted 42,663 sockeye on Monday, for a total of 926,667 sockeye up the Nushagak so far.

880 Chinook passed the Nushagak River sonar, for a total of 4,921 so far this season.

10,521 chum salmon passed the sonar yesterday, for a total of 157,155.

The Nushagak River is now well within its sockeye escapement goal range of 370,000 to 1.4 million fish. The river is estimated to see a 3.5 million sockeye run this season.

For chinook salmon, the escapement goal range in the Nushagak River is 55,000 to 120,000.

Wood River 

At the Wood River counting tower on Monday, sockeye escapement counts continue to decrease. 186,174 sockeye passed, bringing the total escapement to 360,844, with another 43,344 fish passing the tower as of 6 a.m. this morning.

The Wood River is within its escapement goal range of 700,000 to 3 million fish, and the forecast is for around 7.8 million sockeye.


The Igushik tower crew counted 29,550 fish yesterday, for a total of 72,888 thus far, with an additional 7,830 fish counted as of 6 a.m. this morning.


Fishing crews in Togiak caught 5,155 fish on Monday, for a total catch of 10,435 so far.

Togiak’s escapement counts are scheduled to begin on July 5th.

The total inshore run for Togiak River sockeye is forecasted to be around 680,000 fish, with an escapement goal range of 120,000 to 270,000.


Naknek and Kvichak fishing fleets caught 131,352 fish yesterday. The season total stands at 348,153 fish, with an average drift delivery of 427 sockeye. So far, drifters in the Naknek and Kvichak Rivers have caught 75.6% of the season’s total catch. Setnetters on the Kvichak have caught 20.6% of the season’s catch and setnetters on the Naknek have caught 3.8%.

The Naknek tower crew counted 1,854 spawners yesterday, making their total an estimated 14,208 fish.

Kvichak escapement counts are really picking up, the tower crew counted 73,536 fish yesterday, their total is at 98,500 [98,496], nearly 4x what it was yesterday. Another 150,000 fish are estimated to be in-river, between the commercial fishing district and the counting tower.

The total season run for Naknek/Kvichak is 629,457 so far.

Alagnak escapement numbers are now coming in, with 18,600 spawners swimming past the counting tower yesterday.

An inshore run of approximately 15 million sockeye is expected across the Naknek/Kvichak district this season.

The Naknek River escapement goal range is 800,000 to 2 million sockeye. In the Kvichak River, the escapement goal range is 2 million to 10 million, and the Alagnak River has a minimum escapement goal of 210,000.


Egegik fleets brought in 108,642 fish yesterday, making the cumulative catch 799,230, with an average drift delivery of 585 sockeye. So far, Egegik drifters have caught 84.3% of the season’s total catch, and setnetters have caught 15.8%.

12,480 spawners were counted passing the towers in Egegik yesterday, making the season’s total escapement 273,840 fish. Another 15,000 fish are estimated to be in-river, bringing the total season run so far for Egegik to 981,948.

The Egegik district’s inshore run this season is forecasted to be about 5.5 million sockeye salmon and the river’s escapement goal is 800,000 to 2 million fish.


Ugashik crews hauled in 92,362 fish yesterday, their season’s catch is 407,342. So far, Ugashik drifters have caught 89.9% of the season’s total catch, and setnetters have caught 10.1%.

8,304 fish were counted passing the Ugashik on Monday, bringing their total to 40,356. Another 30,000 fish were estimated in-river, bringing the total run for the season to 477,698.

The district’s inshore run this season is forecasted to be about 4.6 million sockeye salmon and the river’s escapement goal is 500,000 to 1.4 million fish.

Vessel Registrations

As of 9 a.m. this morning, in Egegik, there are 237 permits on 172 boats. That should stay the same in the next 2 days. D boats will stay at 65.

The Ugashik District has 208 permits on 142 boats, which will increase to 224 permits on 153 boats by Thursday. DBoats will move up from 66 to 71.

In the Naknek-Kvichak District, there are now 389 permits on 296 boats. That will bump up to 427 permits on 328 boats by Thursday. DBoats will bump up from 93 to 99.

In the Nushagak, there are 730 permits on 523 boats. By Thursday, that will decrease to 728 permits on 522 boats. DBoats will decrease from 207 to 206.

The Togiak District will remain the same at 17 permits on 17 boats.

In total bay-wide, there are 1,581 active permits on 1,150 boats and 431 DBoats.

Chignik River weir

At the Chignik River weir, 30,056 sockeye swam through the weir on Monday, for a season total of 251,318 so far.

25,448 fish were part of the early run, and 4,608 fish were part of the late run.

Area M

Over in Area M, fleets harvested 36,553 sockeye on Monday for a season total of 1,336,153.

30 chinook were caught in Area M yesterday, bringing the total season harvest to 1,653 so far.

56 chum were caught yesterday. Their season harvest is over 418,000 [418,247].

No coho were caught on Monday. Their season total is 161.

And no pinks were caught, the pink’s season total is 275,157.

The majority of commercial harvests this season have been caught on the South Peninsula by South Unimak and Shumagin Islands fleets, with sockeye harvests also coming in from Port Moller to Outer Point Heiden and Nelson Lagoon.

Port Moller Test Fishery:

The crews at Port Moller say that catch and escapement numbers in the Kvichak District should increase substantially over the next few days given the last stock compositions. We should have their latest stock composition here on tomorrow’s show.

No fish were caught at station at 18 yesterday, and station 2 was not fished.

Station 4 had a catch index of 93. That catch index is the number of fish that would be caught in both the small mesh and the big mesh if the station were fished for a full hour. The small mesh is 4 ½ inches, and the large mesh is 5 ⅛ inches.

Station 6 had a catch index of 124.

Station 8 had a catch index of 88.

Station 10 had a catch index of 156.

Station 12 had a catch index of 46.

Station 14 had a catch index of 7.

Station 16 had a catch index of 2.

Station 20 had a catch index of 23.

Station 22 had a catch index of 12.

Station 24 had a catch index of 104.

Overall, yesterday’s mean catch index was 51, which is a jump from yesterday’s mean of 19.

Across stations yesterday, 166 fish were caught in the small mesh, and 110 fish were caught in the big mesh. So far this season, 62% of the test fishery catches were in the small mesh, and 38% of the catches were in the big mesh.

The mean length of fish yesterday in the small mesh was 489 mm, and the mean length of fish caught in the big mesh was 509 mm. The season average so far is 484 mm fish in the small mesh, and 508 mm fish in the big mesh.

Get in touch at or 907-842-2200.

Meg Duff is a fisheries reporter for KDLG's Bristol Bay Fisheries Report. She is also a freelance journalist, writing and making audio stories for publications like Scientific American, MIT Technology Review, Outside, Slate and Yale Climate Connections. Meg has a master's in journalism from New York University.
Jessie Sheldon is a fisheries reporter for KDLG. She has spent several summers working in Alaska, both on the water and in the recording studio. Jessie is passionate about marine ecosystems, connection through storytelling, and all things fishy.
Ryan Berkoski just finished his freshman year at New Saint Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho. This summer, Ryan is working as an announcer at KDLG running Open Line, thanks to generous funding from BBEDC.