Lakes Area Fisheries
The Bristol Bay region is known around the world as a global salmon stronghold. And for good reason. The 20-year average run size is 40.0 million fish, but the last six years have seen a sockeye run size exceeding 50.0 million.
The salmon fishery continues to be culturally and economically vital to Lake Iliamna communities. Despite a large decline (> 60%) in local permit holdings since the State began limiting entry into commercial fisheries in 1975, fishing serves as the primary private source of cash employment in the region. Restoring local access to the largest salmon fishery on the planet is a priority for the region and essential to long-term community sustainability. The relationship between the people of Lake Iliamna and salmon dates back 1000s of years, and is seen, heard, and sustained in Alaska Native languages, cultural practices, and traditional foods.