Public Media for Alaska's Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta
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The Kuskokwim River drainage is open to subsistence fishing with all legal gear types, including gillnets

A gillnet soaks in the Kuskokwim River during a subsistence fishing opener on June 12, 2018.
Katie Basile

Subsistence fishing is open on the Kuskokwim River and all its tributaries. The river opened last Friday, Sept 16, the same day a huge storm slammed Western Alaska’s coast.

The entire Kuskokwim River drainage is open to subsistence fishing with the following gear: gillnet, beach seine, handline, dip net, fish wheel, and hook and line attached to a rod or pole. Gillnets can be set nets or drift nets and must be 50 fathoms or shorter in length. They can be any mesh size.

By now, salmon have passed through the rivers to their spawning grounds, and the gear would be used to catch other species like whitefish and pike.

State fishery managers had closed the Kuskokwim and nearly all tributaries to most forms of subsistence fishing to conserve the river’s low coho run. The closure ran from Aug. 17 to Sept. 15. It was the first time that managers had closed the river during the coho season.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game fishery manager Nick Smith said that Kuskokwim tributary weirs recently ended their coho counts, and biologists are now compiling the season’s salmon data.

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