Veteran observers of Alaska's salmon fisheries have long heard complaints out of Bristol Bay about fishermen at False Pass
"intercepting" sockeye supposedly bound for the bay.
But you know the old adage about rocks and glass houses.
Just check out this new report from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
It's a fascinating study of the genetic stock composition of sockeye harvests in Bristol Bay during the years 2006 through 2008.
The really interesting stuff is on pages 18-22.
Generally, the findings aren't surprising; the vast majority of sockeye salmon harvested in the bay originate from local stocks.
But we find an eye-opener in the numbers for the Togiak District, the westernmost and least productive of the bay's five fishing districts.
Researchers determined a substantial percentage of the Togiak harvest actually originates from the Kuskokwim stock in western Alaska.
In 2006, Kuskokwim sockeye accounted for nearly 28 percent of the Togiak harvest, or 174,206 fish. In 2008, the Kusko component was more than 25 percent, while in 2007 it was 13.5 percent.
Like many Bristol Bay gillnetters, folks in western Alaska have been critical of the False Pass fishery for picking off "their" salmon.
When it comes to sockeye interceptions, looks like some of the pickin' is in Bristol Bay.
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