Federal Subsistence Board deciding whether to federalize management of the Yukon River salmon fishery
The Federal Subsistence Board met on May 4 to decide whether to assume federal control of the Yukon River subsistence salmon fishery. The fishery is currently managed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
The Holy Cross Tribe and the Native Village of Eagle, along with two Yukon River residents, requested federal management. They are asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to manage Yukon River Chinook, and summer and fall chum salmon between June 1 and Sept. 30. They are also asking that subsistence salmon fishing during this time be limited to federally qualified subsistence users who live along the river.
Similar regulations have become the norm along the lower Kuskokwim River for nearly the past decade, but they would be new to the Yukon River.
The requests follow sharp drops in Yukon salmon runs. Last year chum returns fell to record lows and the Chinook return remained low, as it has been for multiple years. The federal government declared a fisheries disaster.
The Federal Subsistence Board held apublic hearing on the Yukon fishery requests in late March.