Bristol Bay’s Sockeye Run Sets A Record

As those in and out of Bristol Bay fight to prevent the Pebble Mine project from ever becoming a reality, several organizations were celebrating the news that the sockeye run was the largest on record. Here’s some reaction, starting with SalmonState:

ANCHORAGE—63,220,985 sockeye have returned to Bristol Bay’s lakes, rivers and streams this season as of July 20, breaking a record set only in 2018.

“The news today is yet more confirmation that we need permanent protections for Bristol Bay,” said SalmonState Executive Director Tim Bristol. “Almost a year ago, President Joe Biden put out a statement making clear that he knows the headwaters of the most prolific sockeye salmon run in the world is no place for a massive, open-pit mine and its toxic waste. It is time for his administration to finish what the Obama/Biden administration started and for the EPA to veto Pebble Mine.”

The previous Bristol Bay record of 62.9 million fish returning was set in 2018. Records date back to 1893.

Fish are still returning to Bristol Bay.

SalmonState works to keep Alaska a place wild salmon and the people who depend on them thrive.

Here’s United Tribes of Bristol Bay’s Executive Director Alannah Hurley

“For thousands of years, the people of Bristol Bay have welcomed salmon back to Bristol Bay’s waters each summer, and this year’s record-breaking return is the result of this careful stewardship. Our lands and waters must be protected so future generations can continue our way of life and Bristol Bay can remain the salmon stronghold for the planet. Today’s news highlights the urgent need for the Environmental Protection Agency to enact 404(c) protections to permanently remove the looming threat of large-scale hard rock mines like Pebble. While we celebrate the record breaking salmon returns, our fishery remains in grave danger until the Biden Administration finishes the job to permanently protect Bristol Bay.” -UTBB Executive Director Alannah Hurley, a setnetter who fished at Saguyaq on Nushagak Bay this year.

And one more from Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay:

DILLINGHAM, AK – Bristol Bay’s sockeye salmon run set a new record with 63.2 million sockeye returning to the Bristol Bay watershed as of July 20, besting the 2018 record of 62.9 million sockeye.

“This season’s record-breaking salmon run is a reminder of what’s at stake, and what we could lose if we don’t protect Bristol Bay from the proposed Pebble Mine. As Bristol Bay’s thousands of commercial fishermen wrap up this historic season, we are looking to President Biden and the EPA to finish the job the Obama/Biden administration started, and establish Clean Water Act protections for Bristol Bay so that we and future generations can continue to participate in this incredible wild salmon fishery,” said Katherine Carscallen, Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay Director.

Earlier this month, Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay put out a new series of ads calling on the EPA to “do their job,” echoing Bristol Bay tribes who recently called on the EPA to use its authority under the Clean Water Act’s Section 404(c) to veto the Pebble Mine and restrict hard-rock mining activities in Bristol Bay’s pristine headwaters. 


Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay is a national coalition of fishermen working to protect Bristol Bay, Alaska and the 14,000 jobs, $500 million in annual income, and $1.5 billion in economic activity that Bristol Bay’s wild salmon provide.