2019 Bristol Bay sockeye harvest forecast is 27.6M

State biologists are forecasting a run of 40.18 million red salmon into Bristol Bay in 2019, with a harvest of 27.6 million fish.

While the run itself would be 10 percent smaller than the most recent 10-year average of 44.4 million for the Bay, it would be 16 percent greater than the 1963-2018 average of 34.2 million fish, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game noted in its November forecast.

The run forecast for each district and river system includes  16.12 million to Naknek-Kvichak District (6.95 million to the Kvichak river, 3.97 million to the Alagnak river, and 5.21 million to the Naknek river); 9.07 million to the Egegik District; 3.46 million to the Ugashik District; 10.38 million to the Nushagak District (4.62 million to the Wood river, 4.18 million to the Nushagak river, and 1.58 million to the Igushik river); and 1.15 million to the Togiak District.

The forecast breakdown by age is for 15.16 million age-1.2 fish (38 percent of the total run), 5.49 million age-2.2 fish (14 percent of the total run), 17.05 million age-1.3 fish (42 percent of the total run), and 2.42 million age-2.3 fish (6 percent of the total run).

State forecasters also noted that historically those sockeye runs into Bristol Bay have been highly variable, with total runs averaging 34.2 million from 1963 through 2018 and 44.4 million fish during the most recent 10-year period.

ADF&G thanked the Bristol Bay Fisheries Collaborative for funding assistance this year. The collaborative, which began in 2016, is an agreement between ADF&G and the Bristol Bay Science and Research Institute, a non-profit subsidiary of the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp., to work together with stakeholders to restore a world-class fishery management system and raise funds to support and maintain management.

The agreement is supported by ADF&G, BBSRI, drift and set net fishermen, processors, municipalities, villages, support industries and other stakeholders.