Salmon mural in Dillingham by Arpayo Moore









The world’s biggest sockeye salmon fishery keeps getting bigger.   The red run next year at Bristol Bay is projected at 51.3 million fish. That would produce another whopping catch approaching 40 million fish.

“It is a big one,” “That’s 18 percent over the recent 10 year average, and 41 percent that the long term mean.”

Greg Buck is a Fish and Game biologist for Bristol Bay.

Last year’s sockeye run to the Bay was in the all time top five, with record surges to several rivers, especially on the west side.

And more of the same is predicted.

Area manager Tim Sands believes warmer winters are providing better  conditions for baby salmon.

“Early ice-out, late ice-in, especially in those Nuyakuk River lakes, the Tikchiks, it made a difference more to them because they were in a more marginal environment. Having extra growing time in those higher, upper lakes made those fish healthier, bigger, and more competitive when they got to the ocean.”  

Biologists admit predicting Bristol Bay sockeye runs is a tricky science. Last year 42 percent more fish returned than projected, yielding a 37 percent higher catch.

Using salmon data from nine river systems in five districts, managers have had a mean error of 14 percent in harvest forecasts since 2001.

See a complete breakdown for 2018 Bristol Bay salmon runs at KDLG.

Switching up salmon errors from the sublime to the ridiculous – as they seek to raise $20 million from the sale of its stock, AquaBounty, the makers of Frankenfish, admit they may never make a profit.

The decades-long lab project to create genetically modified salmon has caused ‘significant losses,’ Seafood Source reports the company said in a stock filing, and they expect to lose for the foreseeable future.

AquaBounty shares on the NASDAQ were at $5.18 in early November down from over $20 in January.

AquaBounty sold its first batch of farmed Frankenfish from Panama this summer, most likely to Quebec. Consumers don’t know because GM fish is not required to be labeled.

Find links at Thanks to the assist from KDLG in Dillingham.