It’s the same story, different year. Biologists are expecting another low king salmon run on the Kuskokwim River this summer, and to conserve these stocks, federal managers want to restrict fishing in the same ways as in recent years.
To do that, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is requesting certain restrictions from the Federal Subsistence Board that will sound very familiar to Kuskokwim residents. The restrictions include:
- Only allowing federally qualified subsistence users to harvest king salmon in the Kuskokwim River drainage from the mouth of the river to just below Aniak.
- Beginning the restrictions on June 12, the same day that last year’s restrictions began, and extending them through August 30 unless changed in-season by federal managers.
- Restricting the harvest of king salmon in these waters during this time period to residents of Kuskokwim villages and nearby coastal communities. These villages include Chefornak, Kipnuk, Kongiganak, Kwigillingok, Tuntutuliak, Eek, Napakiak, Napaskiak, Kasigluk, Nunapitchuk, Atmautluak, Oscarville, Bethel, Kwethluk, Akiachak, Akiak, Tuluksak, Lower Kalskag, Upper Kalskag, Aniak, Chuathbaluk, Napaimute, Crooked Creek, Georgetown, Red Devil, Sleetmute, Stony River, Lime Village, Takotna, Nikolai, Telida, and McGrath.
These restrictions have been applied to the federal waters of the Kuskokwim drainage since 2014.
The Federal Subsistence Board wants to know what you think about these proposed restrictions and is holding a public hearing to find out. The hearing is next week, in Bethel, on Wednesday, March 14, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the AVCP Regional Housing Authority.
Those who can’t attend in person can call in toll free at (888) 455-5897 passcode: 3344290