Unprecedented Late Run!

Emily Lints
20150702_184226_resized  Last week with his bags packed, Kyle decided to stay in Bristol Bay a little longer.  On his planned departure day too many fish were being caught to leave and yet his crew had to get home and his boat was already out of the water.  2015 set records for so many fish returning so late!  Commercial fishing is one big financially dependent decision after the other based on a complex, ever changing system of oceans, rivers, fish and management plans. In desperation Kyle took his permit aboard another boat and crewed for a handful of days.  A boat with two permits gets an extra shackle of gear allowing them to catch a little more fish.  This choice was the best option at that point and a nice way to unwind from the insanity of fishing Bristol Bay.  Kyle wanted more than anything to return to his baby, toddler and wife after almost two months apart and eventually decided that being home was more valuable than making more money. The run seemed  to slow down and most boats pulled out of the water a few days ago.  But even yesterday the remaining boats are catching a lot of salmon.  At this point 51 million salmon (!) have returned to Bristol Bay, out of the preseason forecast-ed 52 million.  During the season the return was so slow that even the scientists doubted the pre-season forecast and downgraded the forecast to 30 million.  There are just so many variables involved. ]photo 1(4) The many glaciers that feed into remote Bristol Bayphoto 2(4) Ahh Home Sweet Homer!

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