This year, as in previous years, the Kuskokwim River drainage will close to sport fishing for king salmon. The earlier closures were prompted by low king numbers. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game predicts another low return of king salmon along the river and is issuing regulations to conserve the species.
To reduce incidental catch of kings, sports fishermen angling along the Kuskokwim River or its tributaries are restricted to using a single hook that’s unbaited and has an artificial lure. If a king salmon is caught, the fisherman must release the king immediately without removing it from the water.
People wanting to sport fish for king salmon will have to travel to Kuskokwim Bay rivers, including the Goodnews and Kanektok, where angling for kings remains open for now.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game issued these regulations in an emergency order last month. However, restrictions might relax if more king salmon than expected return. The regulations take effect May 1 and end on July 25, the last day of the sport-fishing season.