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Kuskokwim Fishermen Appeal To Gov. Dunleavy To Investigate Commercial Bycatch Impact On Subsistence

Salmon are harvested from the Kuskokwim River during a subsistence fishing opening on June 12, 2018.
Katie Basile

Kuskokwim River fishermen want information on how commercial bycatch could be affecting Kuskokwim subsistence salmon runs, and they’re asking Gov. Dunleavy for help.

The Kuskokwim River Salmon Management Working Group is a group of local subsistence fishermen who advise state fishery managers. On July 28, the group unanimously voted to send a letter to the governor asking him to direct the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to provide the group information on how chum and king salmon bycatch in state commercial fisheries along the Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Islands could be affecting Kuskokwim salmon returns. This is the area commonly referred to as Management Area M.

It also asks for information on chum and king salmon bycatch in the federally-managed Bering Sea pollock trawl fishery.

Credit ADF&G
State Management Area M

The letter asks whether the commercial bycatch could be contributing to this year’s low king salmon and record low chum salmon runs on both the Kuskokwim and Yukon Rivers.

The letter asks the governor to direct the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to meet with the working group to review the bycatch data and analyze its impact on the Kuskokwim River salmon fisheries.

Anna Rose MacArthur served as KYUK's News Director from 2015-2022.
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