Record-setting harvest for Bristol Bay salmon
BRISTOL BAY, Alaska (KTUU) - It’s been a banner year for salmon in Bristol Bay as the 2022 overall numbers and harvest have already set records.
So far this summer the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has counted a total of 73.7 million salmon, shattering the previous record of 67.7 million set last year. The current salmon harvest for Bristol Bay this summer stands at 56.4 million, which eclipses the 1995 record of 44.3 million.
“Well, we did have one day here in the Nushagak, where in one day we caught 2.4 million fish,” said Fish and Game Area Biologist Tim Sands. “That’s kind of an unprecedented I think, for one district to catch that much fish in one single day.”
Sands expects numbers to continue climbing throughout the summer, but said daily catches are getting smaller.
“Our bay-wide catch yesterday was just under 700,000 fish,” Hands said. “You know, three days ago…I think we were at 2.3 million harvests for the day.”
On the Yukon River it’s been a different story as Fish and Game said the chum returns are expected to be critically low, forecasting a run of less than 300,000. This is why the department is closing the start of the fall subsistence fishing season on the Yukon River.
In June, nearly 13,000 pounds of salmon were donated to the Yukon-Kuskokwim region because of the poor salmon returns. The state partnered with Kwik’Pak Fisheries, Alaska Interior Fish Processors, and Tanana Chiefs Conference, Copper River Seafoods, and Lynden Air Cargo, and Air Land Transport to make the donation happen.
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