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Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 4, 2024

Boat on a trailer in the Dillingham harbor.
Meg Duff
Boat on a trailer in the Dillingham harbor.

The baywide catch yesterday topped a million for the first time this season, with a haul of 1.6 million fish. Nushagak fleets brought in about a third of those fish, followed by fleets in the Naknek/Kvichak and Egegik. Test fishery crews say they expect a push of Nushagak fish today and tomorrow with Kvichak fish to follow. Almost two thirds of the fish caught at Port Moller this season have been caught in the smaller mesh size, indicating smaller fish. That trend of smaller fish is expected to continue this season.

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

Messages to the Fleet

Shout out to Rylan Burnett on his 17th birthday: we love you and miss you! From mom and dad, that’s Wendy, Ryan, and Paul.

A very happy birthday to Rylan Bernett, sending lots of love -from Grandma.

Happy birthday to Virgil, and happy 4th of July to the whole family. From Christine, Julie, and Smokie.

Happy Birthday to Virgil Delkittie Jr. From your sister.

Happy 4th of July to Mary Delkittie, and goodluck fishing. From your daughter.

Sending the captain of the LindaK a big "Happy Birthday" today. Today is your day Cap., live it like you're the king of the world! May your birthday be filled with sunshine and smiles, laughter, and lots fish. Sending waves of love and tides of happiness. All my love, Miss Denver.

The Numbers

The baywide catch on Wednesday topped a million yesterday for the first time this season. Yesterday’s catch was 1,624,889 fish, bringing the total season catch to 6,950,483.

Cumulative escapement is at 4,705,737 so far.

The total run as of Wednesday, July 3 was estimated at 12,066,220 sockeye.


In the Nushagak District, fleets hauled in 574,210 fish on Wednesday, for a total of 3,980,625 fish, with an average drift delivery of 520 sockeye. The total run this season in the Nushagak District is now 7,924,548.

The drift fleet has caught about 78.1% of that total harvest, while Nushagak set netters have harvested 19.6%, and set netters in the Igushik have harvested 2.3%.

Nushagak River

The Nushagak River sonar counted 51,517 sockeye on Wednesday, for a total of 1,070,817 sockeye up the Nushagak so far.

251 Chinook passed the Nushagak River sonar, for a total of 28,178 so far this season. That’s about halfway to the minimum of the escapement goal range for Nushagak chinook of 55,000 to 120,000 fish.

2,489 chum salmon passed the sonar yesterday, for a total of 169,978.

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

Wood River 

At the Wood River counting tower on Wednesday, sockeye escapement counts have increased since yesterday. 147,750 sockeye passed, bringing the total escapement to 2,736,228, with another 23,358 fish passing the tower as of 6 a.m. this morning.

The Wood River is well 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 31,236 fish yesterday, for a total of 136,878 so far, with an additional 5,736 fish counted as of 6 a.m. this morning.


Fishing crews in Togiak caught 6,692 fish on Wednesday, for a total catch of 22,009 so far, with an average drift delivery of 99 sockeye.

Togiak’s tower counting crew is getting set up, and escapement counts are scheduled to begin tomorrow.

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 403,423 fish yesterday. The season total stands at 866,693 fish, with an average drift delivery of 846 sockeye. So far, drifters in the Naknek and Kvichak Rivers have caught 68.3% of the season’s total catch. Setnetters on the Kvichak have caught 21.9% of the season’s catch and setnetters on the Naknek have caught 9.8%.

The Naknek tower crew counted 21,648 spawners yesterday, making their total 59,922 fish.

Kvichak escapement counts are continuing to pick up, the tower crew counted 61,146 fish yesterday, bringing their season total to 242,076. Another 250,000 fish are estimated to be in-river, between the commercial fishing district and the counting tower.

The total season run for Naknek/Kvichak is 1,459,923 so far.

11,094 fish were counted swimming in the Alagnak River yesterday, making their total 41,232.

An 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 392,812 fish yesterday, making the cumulative catch 1,426,062 with an average drift delivery of 1,320 sockeye. So far, Egegik drifters have caught 80% of the season’s total catch, and setnetters have caught 20%.

50,040 spawners were counted passing the towers in Egegik yesterday, making the season’s total escapement 333,102 fish. Another 100,000 fish are estimated to be in-river, bringing the total season run so far for Egegik to 1,859,164.

The Egegik district’s 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 fleets brought in 247,752 fish yesterday, making the cumulative catch 655,094, with an average drift delivery of 1,351 sockeye. So far, Ugashik drifters have caught 87.1% of the season’s total catch, and setnetters have caught 12.9%.

26,994 fish were counted passing the Ugashik counting tower on Wednesday, bringing their total to 85,482. Another 60,000 fish were estimated in-river, bringing the total run for the season to just over 800,576.

The district’s 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 239 permits on 173 boats. That will move up to 241 permits on 175 boats in the next 2 days. D boats will stay at 66.

The Ugashik District has 222 permits on 151 boats, which will increase to 226 permits on 155 boats by Saturday. DBoats will remain at 71.

In the Naknek-Kvichak District, there are now 432 permits on 332 boats. That will bump up to 483 permits on 364 boats by Saturday. DBoats will bump up from 100 to 119.

In the Nushagak, there are 682 permits on 491 boats. By Saturday, that will decrease to 681 permits on 490 boats. DBoats will remain at 191.

The Togiak District has 18 permits on 18 boats, which will remain the same this weekend.

In total bay-wide, there are 1,593 active permits on 1,165 boats and 428 DBoats.

Chignik River weir

At the Chignik River weir, 25,739 sockeye swam through the weir on Wednesday, for a season total of 304,574 so far.

20,388 fish were part of the early run, and 5,351 fish were part of the late run.

Area M

Over in Area M, fleets harvested 35,791 sockeye on Wednesday for a season total of 1,421,051.

28 chinook were caught in Area M yesterday, bringing the total season harvest to 1,736 so far.

165 chum were caught yesterday. Their season harvest is 425,104.

No coho were caught on Wednesday. Their season total is 167.

And no pinks were caught. The pink’s season total is 277,233.

Most commercial harvests in Area M this season have been caught by South Unimak and Shumagin Islands fleets, with harvest also coming in from Port Moller to Outer Point Heiden, from Nelson Lagoon, and from the Dolgoi Island Area.

Port Moller Test Fishery:

Yesterday the test fishery released their stock composition estimates for July 2nd through July 3rd.

The largest percentage of the fish sampled were swimming towards the Kvichak River – an estimated 24 percent were headed there.

About 18 percent of the sampled sockeye were swimming towards the Ugashik River.

An estimated 14 percent of the samplings were on their way to the Nushagak River, and another 14 percent to the Wood River.

About 11 percent were heading towards the Alagnak River and the estimate for the Egegik river is 9 percent.

Another 5 percent of the fish sampled are on their way to the Naknek river, and 4 percent are headed to the Kuskokwim river.

2 percent are on their way to the Togiak river, with less than 1 percent on their way to both the Igushik and the North Peninsula.

North Peninsula 0.5%

Ugashik 17.8%

Egegik 9.3%

Naknek 4.5%

Alagnak 11.4%

Kvichak 23.6%

Nushagak 13.6%

Wood 13.8%

Igushik 0.5%

Togiak 1.5%

Kuskokwim 3.6%

According to Port Moller, yesterday’s catch indices suggest that the Nushagak District should be seeing more fish today and tomorrow, with a big push towards the Kvichak coming a few days later.

No fish were caught at stations 2 and 4 yesterday. There were also no fish at stations 24 and 26.

The catch index at the stations 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 73.

Station 8 had a catch index of 64.

Station 10 had a catch index of 188.

Station 12 had a catch index of 45.

Station 14 had a catch index of 27.

Station 16 had a catch index of 111.

Station 18 had a catch index of 18.

Station 20 had a catch index of 29.

Station 22 had a catch index of 15.

Overall, yesterday’s mean catch index was 52, which is slightly below the average for the past week.

Across stations yesterday,189 fish were caught in the small mesh, and 131 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 496 mm, and the mean length of fish caught in the big mesh was 511 mm. That’s just a bit above the season average so far of 485 mm fish in the small mesh, and 509 mm fish in the big mesh.

Get in touch at or 907-842-2200.

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.
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.