The free fish bin returns to Bethel
The free fish bin has returned to Bethel. You can pick up free salmon from the green bin, which is located between the Brown’s Slough bridge and Corina’s Case Lot Groceries.
The salmon come from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Bethel Test Fishery. The fishery harvests the fish using gillnets to help determine the number and species composition of salmon in the Kuskokwim River.
You can expect to find mostly Sockeye salmon in the fish bin, since they are the dominant salmon species in the river right now. Chum numbers have picked up in recent days, but the overall run remains similar to last year’s record low. State fishery biologist Ross Renick said that the test fishery technicians are live-releasing Chum when possible.
King salmon will not be in the bin. Kings caught by the Bethel Test Fishery are given to ONC for biological testing and then distributed to Elders.
Later in the season you can expect to find silver salmon in the bin. The free fish bin operates until late August.
Renick said that the Bethel Test Fishery technicians typically deliver fish to the bin twice per day, about four-and-a-half hours after high tide.
Over the weekend, on June 25 and 26, the test fishery harvested 65 Sockeye, 24 Chum, and 36 Kings.