Five weeks into the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishery, with a preseason harvest forecast of 40.5 million fish, the estimated catch was climbing ever so slowly, as fishermen and processors waited it out.

As of July 6, biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game were estimating the total Bristol Bay harvest to date at 9.1 million salmon, and the statewide catch of salmon at 20 million fish.

The statewide preseason forecast called for a total of nearly 221 million red, king, chum, silver and pink salmon.

"I think the reality is we're going to get what we get," said Shawn Dochtermann, a veteran Bristol Bay fisherman, speaking from his drift gillnetter at Egegik.

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