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June 9, 2008 Bristol Bay Report
June 9, 2008 Bristol Bay Report

As with the rest of the state of Alaska, Bristol Bay is a few weeks behind schedule with spring just kicking into gear. Heavy snow pack left over from winter will help insure good water levels for the year. The rivers and lakes are just now starting to swell with melt off. June 8th marked the opening of the rainbow season. Decent reports are coming from the Kvichak and Naknek rivers, but both water and air temperatures are cold. Try swinging leeches or smolt patterns.

Trout fishing in the Wood-Tikchik area is slow to start. The spawn is late this year and cooler water temps are keeping the spring hatches to a minimum. Char fishing at the mouths of the Agulawak and Agulapak rivers is up to par for this time of year and should only get better as more sockeye smolt start their migration out to sea. Swinging and stripping smolt, baitfish and flashy flesh patterns is working.

Grayling can be found in decent numbers right now. Fishing nymphs and small wooly buggers is producing.

With the ice just recently off the lake within the past few weeks, pike fishing is action packed. Hungry from the long winter, now is a good time to target these toothy critters. Big ugly leeches produce well along with mice on top.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is estimating a return of 160,000 king salmon for the Nushagak River, with an in river goal of 75,000 fish. Rumors of a few fish being caught in subsistence set nets in the Dillingham area is a good sign. The first good push of kings usually happens sometime between June15-17 and fishing is usually hot by the 21st.

Both the Alagnak and Naknek river king salmon forecast are for average returns, which should number in the 5,000 fish mark. The parent years for this years returning fish were normal or close to normal returns. The Togiak River is predicted to have an average to above average return this year with an estimated 10,000 plus fish expected to return.

ADF&G predict average runs of sockeye to the Bristol Bay drainages this year. This is the prediction every year. What the actual returns will be is something only nature knows. To see ADF&G's Brisol Bay sockeye forecast go to: www.cf.adfg.state.ak.us/region2/finfish/salmon/bbay/brbfor08.pdf . To see ADF&G's Bristol Bay sport fish forecast go to: www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/Management/Areas.cfm/FA/BB.forecast

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