From ADF&G, 9/24/13 —                                 

World's biggest sockeye salmon run Credit:

World’s biggest sockeye salmon run

 The following is an overview of the 2013 Bristol Bay commercial salmon season. Fishing has been completed in all districts and preliminary harvest totals should be representative for all species. It should be noted that numbers in the narrative are expressed in rounded forms for simplicity and that all data are considered preliminary.

The 2013 inshore Bristol Bay sockeye salmon run of 23.0 million fish ranks 15th over the last 20 years (1993–2012) and was 36% below the 36.0 million average run for the same period. This year’s sockeye run was 12% below the preseason inshore forecast of 26.0 million fish. Togiak and Nushagak districts were slightly above forecast (2% and 8% respectively), while Egegik, Ugashik, and Naknek/Kvichak districts were below preseason expectations (4%, 13% and 32% respectively). The run was composed of a 15.4 million fish harvest and 7.6 million fish escapement. The 15.4 million sockeye salmon commercial harvest was 6% below the 16.6 million preseason forecast. The escapement estimate does not include the Alagnak River where data is no longer collected.

Approximately 19,000 Chinook salmon were harvested in Bristol Bay in 2013, 71% below the average harvest for the last 20 years (64,604). The chum salmon harvest of 872,000 fish was 10% below the 20-year average of 959,000 fish. Bay-wide coho salmon harvest was 135,000, 80% above the 20-year average of 75,000. Reported pink salmon harvest was 511 fish.

Also of note was the sinking of the tender vessel Lone Star in the mouth of the Igushik River. The tender sank on June 30 and a section of the Nushagak District was eventually closed for the season as a result of fuel leaking from the vessel. This closure reduced harvest in that area of the district and allowed increased escapement into the Igushik River. The Igushik River sockeye salmon escapement exceeded the upper end of the escapement goal range by 29% (Table 5).


The Bristol Bay 2013 harvest of all salmon species was 16.4 million fish with a preliminary exvessel value of $141 million which is 26% above the 20-year average and ranks 7th over that same period. The weights, harvests, and prices listed in Table 1 were used to estimate exvessel 2013 Bristol Bay Salmon Season Summary September 23, 2013

Alaska Department of Fish and Game Division of Commercial Fisheries 2


value. This estimate does not include future price adjustments, loyalty bonuses, and differential prices for refrigerated versus non-refrigerated fish. Although the harvest was below the historical average, the increased price per pound caused the value to be above average.

Table 1.–Average price, weight, and value of salmon harvest in Bristol Bay, 2013. Species Average price/Lb. Average Weight Number of Fish Total Weight Value
Sockeye $1.50 6.0 15,376,432 92,258,592 $138,387,888
Chinook $0.77 18.6 18,616 346,258 $266,618
Chum $0.30 6.4 871,558 5,577,971 $1,673,391
Pink $0.30 3.1 511 1,584 $475
Coho $0.80 6.0 135,000 810,000 $648,000
Totals 16,401,606 98,994,405 $140,976,372