Salmon run forecast is 13% lower than 10 year average but still “strong”
Salmon catches at the world’s biggest sockeye fishery at Bristol Bay are projected to be well below last year’s record harvest of 60.1 million reds.
A run forecast of 49.98 million fish would produce a maximum catch of 37.8 million sockeye salmon. The 2022 salmon run was 71.9 million sockeyes.
“This is 10% smaller than the most recent 10-year average of Bristol Bay total runs (57.24m fish) and 40% greater than the long-term (1963–2022) average of 36.52m fish,” the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game said in an announcement this week.
The University of Washington Alaska Salmon Program, however, predicts a smaller catch of 34.95 million sockeye salmon. Either way, it amounts to about 37% fewer sockeye salmon from Bristol Bay compared to the 2022 harvest.
ADF&G cautioned, however, that forecasts are “inherently difficult and uncertain” but that similar forecasting methods have been used since 2001 to produce the sockeye salmon forecast “which have performed well when applied to Bristol Bay as a whole.”
Below is the breakdown of the major Bristol Bay regions region from the University of Washington Alaska Salmon Program: