Stephanie Maltarich, KDLG-Dillingham
In the past decade, Bristol Bay has seen consistently large salmon runs and continues to break records. But some other Alaska fisheries are experiencing historically low runs, a trend that worries scientists, fishery managers and communities. What keeps Bristol Bay booming as other areas struggle?
As salmon swim upriver to return to their spawning grounds, biologists track numbers to balance conservation with commercial fishing.
Each summer, Alaskans take to the rivers, bays and oceans to subsistence fish. Some head out to set nets, others may use dip nets, but the end goal is the same: to stock up on enough fresh fish to last the winter.
Bristol Bay’s 2021 sockeye run is the largest on record: 63.2 million fish have returned to the bay, breaking the 2018 record of 62.9 million.