Monday, December 21, 2009

Bristol Bay — intercept fishery

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.


Anonymous said...

Wesley, I believe page 8, of this report explained the Genetics of a Bristol Bay Fisher to perfection?

"Labotory Failure Rates and Quality Control.

Overall failure rate was caculated by dividing the number of failesd single-locus genotypes by the number of assayed single-locus genotypes..."

Anonymous said...

the above commenter only referenced the methodology section, where they described HOW they measured "Labotory Failure Rates and Quality Control", but I didn't really see anything in the results or discussion sections that spoke to excesive failure or other error. Would you care to expand on why you feel this information isn't reliable?

Anonymous said...

I never commented that the Laboratory Analysis and estimated error rate of 0.01% to 0.25% was whatsoever incorrect, as explained on page 15.

My comment was related to the Genetics of the Bristol Bay Fisher!

Would a special Togiak "inriver" harvest area assist the Kuskokwim returns, since a rate of intercept of 28%, seems like a much larger number, than than the Naknek, Egegik, and Ugashik special inriver harvest area's?

Best Available Science?

And the Area needing a Inriver Special Harvest Area the most?
It's not the Naknek, Egegik or Ugashik, inriver special harvest areas!

Of course politics, overide science everyday at ADF&G, shown best at the Hilton, where a genetic study is way overdue.

Anonymous said...

The present winter is worth an age, if rightly employed; but, if lost or neglected, the whole continent will partake of the evil; and there is no punishment that man does not deserve, be he who, or what, or where he will, that may be the means of sacrificing a season so precious and useful.

footnote 1, December 23, 1776

Anonymous said...


The even bigger Bristol Bay intercept issue is chum salmon.

How many of the millions of chum caught in BB are AYK bound.

NOBODY want to know the answer to that one.

Anonymous said...

Then why are so few salmon are returning to the AYK anyway? Too many Intercept fisheries that's why, not to mention the EEZ/Exclusive Economic Zone and the huge Bering Sea Pollock Trawl Fisheries and the Newly formed Coastal Development Quota program.