ADFG forecasts 75M+ run of Bristol Bay salmon in 2022

State fisheries biologists are forecasting a run of 75.27 million sockeye salmon into Bristol Bay in the summer of 2022, 44% more than the most recent 10-year average for the world’s largest red salmon fishery and 111% greater than the long-term average of 35.73 million fish.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials predict an overall harvest of 61.82 million red salmon, with a Bristol Bay catch of 59.94 million in the combined Kvichak, Alagnak, Naknek, Egegik, Ugashik, Wood, Igushik, Nushagak and Togiak rivers, and South Peninsula harvest of 1.88 million salmon.

All systems are expected to meet their spawning escapement goals.

A Bristol Bay harvest of this size would be 75% greater than the most recent 10-year average harvest of 34.24 million, which has ranged from 15.38 million to 42.94 million, and 170% greater than the long-term average harvest of 22.22 million fish (1963 to present).Age specific forecasts for the 2022 run consists of 30.68 million age 1.2 fish (41% of the total run), 6.39 million age-2.2 fish (8% of the total run), 35.58 million age-1.3 fish (47% of the total run), and 2.58 million age-2.3 fish (3% of the total run;

ADF&G thanked the Bristol Bay Fisheries Collaborative for providing funds for fisheries assessment over the past few years during times of budget shortfalls for the state agency.

Given logistics challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic faced during the 2021 salmon season in Bristol Bay, the department said they were very appreciative of the generosity of processors and Bristol Bay communities who provided access for their technicians to collected data, critical information needed to develop the 2022 forecast.