A new forecast for the 2016 sockeye salmon fishing season in Bristol Bay says the fishery, which opens by regulation on June 1, is expected to have a run of some 46.6 million fish, with 29.5 million potentially available for commercial harvest.
The figures were released on April 4 by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
For the eastside districts, fishing will be allowed using a weekly schedule that will vary by district, to balance fishing opportunity with escapement in the early part of the season, particularly for Chinook salmon. In the Nushagak District, management of the king salmon fishery will govern fishing time in the early part of the season, followed by directed sockeye salmon management as abundance dictates.
The forecast calls for a run of 23.2 million sockeyes in the Naknek-Kvichak District, with a projected harvest of about 11.7 million reds, 5.9 million from the Kvichak River, 2.7 million from the Alagnak River and 3.2 million from the Naknek River.
For the Egegik District the forecasted run of 7.4 million sockeyes, and a potential harvest of 5.7 million fish.
The Ugashik District will likely see a run of 5 million fish, with a potential harvest of 3.8 million fish while the Nushgak District, with a run forecast of 10.4 million fish, could bring in a potential harvest of 7.8 million reds.
At Togiak, a run of 660,000 salmon is forecast, up from the 2015 forecast of 610,000 fish, with 440,000 reds potentially available there for harvest. Both the permit and vessel are now restricted from fishing in the Togiak District if they are registered for any other district.