Run of 48.9 M sockeyes forecast for Bristol Bay in 2020
Bristol Bay’s sockeye salmon fishery is forecast to produce a run of nearly 49 million fish in 2020, with a harvest of 34.56 million reds, exceeding the harvest forecast of 26.11 million fish in 2019, when fishermen actually caught over 43 million reds.
As the Alaska Department of Fish and Game notes in its 2020 forecast for the famed Southwest Alaska fishery those sockeye runs to Bristol Bay have been highly variable, and warming ocean and other climate conditions could make the salmon runs more variable in years to come.
If the run returns as anticipated, it would be 6 percent larger than the most recent 10-year average of Bristol Bay runs of 45.9 million fish and 29 percent greater than the long-term (1963-2019) average of 34.6 million fish. All systems are expected to meet their spawning escapement goals.
A Bristol Bay harvest of 34.56 million fish would be 11 percent higher than the most recent 10-year average of 31.1 million fish and 38 percent greater than the long-term (1963 to present) average harvest of 21.5 million fish.