With salmon fisheries going on every summer all across Alaska, you might wonder why so much attention is focused on Bristol Bay. The answer can be summed up in two words: sockeye salmon.
Bristol Bay is home to the largest red salmon runs in the world and sockeye is Alaska's most valuable salmon fishery by far. In most years, well over one-third of Alaska's total earnings from salmon fishing stem from Bristol Bay.
Whereas other fishing regions like Copper River, Cook Inlet, Kodiak, Southeast and the Alaska Peninsula might get sockeye catches ranging from 1 million to 5 million fish, Bristol Bay's harvests can reach into the 20 million to 40 million range. "The Bay" also has the most salmon fishermen, with more than 2,800 active permit holders.
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