Commercial Chum Opening On Yukon

Jun 12, 2018

There is a commercial chum salmon opening on the lower Yukon River tomorrow, Wednesday, June 13. The 12-hour commercial fishing period begins at noon on Wednesday and runs until midnight in District 1 of the Yukon River. The areas in the commercial opening include the North Coastal district, the Black River, and the communities of Nunam Iqua, Alakanuk, Emmonak, and Kotlik. Subsistence fishing is closed during the commercial fishing period and all king salmon caught in this opening must be released alive immediately and recorded on the fish ticket.

This week there are two subsistence fishing openings scheduled in District 1 of the Yukon River. One opening begins at 2 p.m. on Tuesday and closes at 8 a.m. Wednesday. The second opening begins Friday at 2 p.m and closes at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

In District 2 of the Yukon, including the communities of Mountain Village, Pitka’s Point, St. Mary’s, Pilot Station, and Marshall, the state Department of Fish and Game has scheduled two 18-hour openings a week. Subsistence fishing closed at 8 a.m on June 12. It reopens in District 2 at 2 p.m. on June 14 and closes at 8 a.m. on Friday, June 15. Gillnets used by subsistence fishermen on the Yukon must have 7.5 inch mesh or smaller. Fish wheels can also be used, but dipnets cannot. 

Fish and Game reports that the indications are that chum salmon numbers are beginning to increase, in spite of the high water and large amount of woody debris that is making fishing difficult. Also, the early test fishery indicates that the early king salmon run should be near Holy Cross, and that the early summer chum may be as far upriver as Ruby. But the number of kings is below the historical average on the Yukon, though changes in operations and the large amount of wood floating down with the high water is making it difficult to get a solid number that can be confidently compared to catch rates in prior years.

Injured salmon from Fish and Game operations on the Yukon are being distributed to village elders and tribal councils.