Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: June 26, 2022
Saturday’s daily catch was 682,000 sockeye, for a total of 3.6 million fish for the season. Across the bay, 635,606 fish have escaped for a total of 2.3 million so far. It is estimated that 240,000 fish are found in these rivers. The total run in the bay is 6.2 million sockeye.
Nushagak District fleets caught 112,000 sockeye, for a season total of 1.3 million. Average drift delivery was the lowest in the bay at 163 sockeye. The escapement in the district was 437,384 for a total of 1.8 million. The district’s return is now 3.2 million sockeye.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has revised its Chinook count from earlier in the week.
You may remember a day earlier this week when the king’s escapement was over 11,000 fish. This brought the kings’ total escapement to nearly 39,000. Well, the sonar crew hadn’t caught enough fish in one of the offshore strata. The split spreadsheet used the previous day’s catches and split them mostly into kings. The test fishery then caught enough fish in the strata the next day, and the numbers were finalized.
That means the 11,000 count is now at 6,510. The total king escapement is 35,325. Friday’s numbers are higher than reported, at 688. And Saturday’s king escapement is at 475 .
Here is a summary of how the the sonar works, from our 2018 Fisheries Report:
Sonar records 10-minute snapshots every hour throughout the day from a site about 25 miles upstream from the commercial fishery near Portage Creek. Technicians then add up the number of fish swimming to get a raw count.
Sonar cannot distinguish fish species. So the team goes out and does a series of tests. There is an inshore area and an offshore area on both sides of the river, and they must catch five fish in each area before they can be confident in their distribution data. Technicians then apply the proportion of each species caught in these sets to the raw sonar count.
The Nushagak River sockeye escapement has slowed since Friday’s huge surge. Saturday’s sockeye index was 215,234. The river’s total run is 1.1 million.
The Wood River run topped 200,000 fish for the second day in a row. The tower crew counted 222,150 sockeye. Another 20,286 were counted as of 6am this morning. The Wood’s total escapement is 779,214.
The Igushik tower team started counting at 8 a.m. this morning. We should get the breakaway numbers for the Igushik early this week.
The Togiak fleet did not fish on Saturday. The total harvest there remains at 2,299.
The Naknek-Kvichak fleet caught 184,000 fish on Saturday, for a total of 457,438 for the season. Drift deliveries averaged 856 sockeye. The district saw 66,468 fish run up its rivers, for a total of 158,466. The total run for the Naknek-Kvichak is 675,904.
At the Naknek River, 18,690 fish swam past the counting tower on Saturday, for a cumulative total of 103,176.
The crew of the Kvichak tower numbered 47,778 for a total of 55,290. About 60,000 fish swim up the river there.
The Egegik fleet had the biggest harvest on Saturday, with 316,000 fish. The average drift delivery was 1,057. The total harvest is also the largest in the bay, at 1.7 million. The escapement was 131,754 fish, for a total of 337,032.
There are a lot of fish going up the Egegik River right now: the estimate in the river is 180,000.
The total Egegik run is 2.2 million sockeye.
Ugashik fishermen brought in the smallest harvest from the bay of 70,000 fish. But the drift deliveries were huge – anglers delivered an average of nearly 2,500 sockeye there. The total Ugashik harvest is 114,300. We should start getting the Ugashik exhaust numbers in the next few days.
Registration: June 26 9:00 a.m. and June 28 9:00 a.m.
Over 1,500 licenses are registered to fish in the bay. The total number of license registrations is 1,583 and the vessel registration is 1,227. On Tuesday morning, that will increase to 1,625 licenses out of 1,259 boats. On the other side of the bay, there are 359 D boats. This will increase to 368 in 48 hours.
In the Nushagak, there are 978 licenses on 724 boats. That will increase slightly to 980 permits out of 727 vessels on Tuesday. The number of D-boats will drop a bit, from 256 to 254.
In Egegik, 344 permits are registered to fish on 273 boats. Those numbers will see a small increase on Tuesday to 350 licenses and 275 vessels. D Egegik boats will increase from 71 to 75.
The Naknek-Kvichak fleet has 197 registered licenses out of 173 boats. This district will see the greatest influx of activity, with 229 permits and 199 boats registered to fish on Tuesday. D-boats will drop from 25 to 31 in the next 48 hours.
Continuation to Ugashik, where there are 38 permits on 31 vessels. They will also see a small increase, to 40 licenses on 32 boats. D-boats will go from 7 to 8.
The Togiak fleet will remain the same until Tuesday, with 26 licenses and 26 boats.
At the Chignik River, 10,589 early-run sockeye crossed the weir on Saturday, and another 581 late-run fish swam across. Approximately, the total sockeye escapement through the weir is 146,032 early run fish and 4,491 late run fish.
This breakaway is higher than it has been since 2018. But it is still well below the numbers before this crash.
Chignik’s early run in 2022 is expected to be a quarter of a million fish below the 10-year average of 905,000. But it is expected to be nearly 400,000 fish more than last year .
In Area M, the daily sockeye salmon harvest was 199,200. Anglers caught 411 Chinooks, 66,900 Chum and 23,400 Roses. The total sockeye salmon harvest for Zone M is 4 million. The rose harvest reached 1 million. Chum is 419,800 and Chinook is 2,900.
In the southern peninsula, the Dolgoi Island region’s sockeye salmon harvest is still 16,360 for the season. The Shumagin Islands fleet caught over 776,600 fish. South Unimak anglers caught 2.8 million sockeye salmon.
In total, the southern peninsula carried 3.6 million sockeye salmon, 2,500 chinook salmon and 1 million pink salmon. The chum harvest is 419,700.
On the Northern Peninsula, Nelson Lagoon anglers have harvested 17,700 sockeye and 170 chinook salmon so far this season. From Port Moller to Outer Port Heiden, the fleets harvested 376,800 sockeye and nearly 300 kings. The total Northern Peninsula harvest is 394,500 sockeye and 450 sockeye.
Port Moller Experimental Fishery
Genetic samples from June 24 and 25 were successfully transferred to the onboard gene lab. However, rough seas are hampering sample processing, so it is unlikely that a stock composition for these dates will be released until very late this evening or Monday morning.
Captures of June 24
Technicians say it takes about six days to travel from the experimental fishery to the commercial districts of the bay. Catches and escapements were down a bit on Friday, which technicians said is in line with what the daily catch index suggested. If this relationship holds, catches and escapements should fluctuate between one and two million over the next few days. But there is another likely outcome: fish could surge into the districts after being outdoors for several days, which would be similar to 2017 and 2021.
Let’s take a look at Friday’s catches on the transect:
Post 2 caught 1 fish in the 4 ½ inch mesh and 2 in the 5 ⅛. The index is 9.
Position 4 caught 1 fish in the 4 ½ inch mesh and 0 in the 5 ⅛. The index is 3.
Post 6 caught 3 fish in the 4 ½ inch mesh and 26 in the 5 ⅛. The index is 81.
Post 8 caught 73 fish in the 4 ½ and 75 in the 5 ⅛. The capture index is 261.
The crew did not fish at Extension 10 because of the weather.
Post 11 caught 7 fish in the 4 ½ and 1 in the 5 ⅛, for an index of 18.
Post 12 caught 8 fish in the 4 ½ and 3 in the 5 ⅛, for an index of 25.
Post 13 caught 35 fish in the 4 ½ and 9 in the 5 ⅛. The index is 91.
Post 14 caught 0 fish.
Post 16 caught 29 fish in the 4 ½ and 14 in the 5 ⅛, for an index of 96.
Messages to the fleet
For my husband and friends on the Sea Hawk:
Hope you all have fun doing what you love. Be careful and catch lots of fish!
All my Love!
Contact the team at [email protected] or 907-842-2200.