The University of Washington’s Fisheries Research Institute (FRI) has issued a preliminary forecast for the 2024 sockeye salmon run in Bristol Bay, Alaska.
FRI is estimating a run of 38.9 million sockeye across the bay, with a total harvest of 26.4 million sockeye. The forecast is calling for an average fish weight of 5.5 pounds, which would result in a harvest of 145.1 million pounds of salmon.
The forecast is based on aggregated Alaska Department of Fish and Game data plugged into a dynamic linear model developed by University of Washington and University of Alaska researchers.
If the prediction holds, the run would be down 32 percent from the 10-year average between 2013 and 2022, and 19 percent below the 20-year average.
The 2023 Bristol Bay harvest reached 39.4 million sockeye, with a total run of 53.3 million fish. The capture total was near the five-year average of 41.8 million sockeye, but below the record 61 million sockeye caught in Bristol Bay in 2023. In November 2022, ADF&G had forecast a run of 51 million sockeye and the UW-FRI forecast called for a run of nearly 50 million salmon, with a catch total of approximately 35 million salmon.
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