Harvest Reports Show Kuskokwim Salmon Run Building
The salmon run is in its initial push up the Kuskokwim River and is growing stronger by the day.
Harvests jumped significantly between the first two 24-hour set gillnet openings on June 3 and June 6. Federal biologists estimated that fishermen harvested about 180 king salmon during the first opening and no other salmon species. These estimates are from along the Kuskokwim mainstem from Tuntutuliak to the Kuskokwak Y. During the next opening, just three days later, federal biologists estimated that fishermen harvested about 570 kings, along with about 90 chum and 30 reds along the Kuskokwim mainstem from Tuntutuliak to Akiak.
Surveyors with the Bethel Orutsararmiut Native Council interviewed fishermen at the Bethel boat harbor during the openings. On June 3, fishermen on average reported harvesting less than one king and no other salmon species. On June 6, fishermen on average reported harvesting 2.3 kings, along with less than one chum and less than one red. Harvest information from the June 9 set net opening is still being calculated.
Compliance with fishing regulations has increased. Last year, 18 nets were confiscated during the early openings, mostly for being too long. This year, Alaska Wildlife Troopers confiscated only two nets during the June 3 and June 6 set net openings. One net was seized in a non-salmon spawning tributary for floating past the 100-yard boundary. The net has since been returned to its owner. The other net was confiscated near Akiachak for being too long. That net did not have a name on its buoy and is being held at the Bethel Trooper post. The owner can call the post, and troopers will return it to Akiachak during their patrols.