The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) harvest forecast for sockeye salmon in 2023 is 38.06 million fish. According to data presented this week, this is the number that would be reached after a projected run of 51.07 million sockeye salmon, 36.66 million fish in Bristol Bay, and 1.41 million fish in the June South Peninsula fishery.
However, although according to the parameters of the ADF&G a run with a range between 42 to 52 is considered strong, the reality is that the record harvest numbers of 2022 make next year’s forecast look negative as a drop of almost 36% expected.
Fulfilling forecasted estimates, the 2022 harvest was 60.1 million sockeye salmon. This is the largest harvest ever recorded exceeding the previous record, set in 1995, of 44.3 million sockeye salmon by 36% and 104% higher than the recent 20-year average. Harvests in all districts except Togiak were higher than pre-season forecasts.
If we talk about the forecasted production by zones, by 2023, the Naknek-Kivichack (18.86 total), Egegik (11.42 total), and Nushagak (16.74 total) river districts will have the most fish. All systems are expected to meet their spawning escapement goals.