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Fisheries managers announce Kuskokwim salmon openers

A drift net is seen piled on a skiff on the Kuskokwim River near Akiachak in 2023.
MaryCait Dolan
/
KYUK
A drift net is seen piled on a skiff on the Kuskokwim River near Akiachak in 2023.

Following a series of set and drift gillnet salmon fishing openers on the Kuskokwim River that brought a mix of chinook, chum, and sockeye into subsistence nets, fisheries managers have announced the next round of harvest opportunities.

Gillnet (drift and/or set)

On the lower Kuskokwim River, a single 12-hour opener will occur from the mouth to a point roughly 50 miles downriver of Aniak known as the Kalskag Line (see map).

  • Saturday, June 22, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Gillnet (drift and/or set)

In a repeat of last year’s management, gillnet fishing will open 24/7 between the Kalskag line and the Aniak Box, an area that has seen relatively less fishing pressure historically.

  • Saturday, June 22, beginning at 7 a.m., open until further notice

During these opportunities, gillnets are restricted to 6-inch or less mesh and may not exceed 45 meshes in depth. Below the Johnson River, gillnets must not exceed 50 fathoms (300 feet) in total combined length (set and drift gillnet). Above the Johnson River, gillnets must not exceed 25 fathoms (150 feet) in total combined length.

Rod and Reel (within Aniak Box)

Additionally, rod and reel fishing for chinook and sockeye salmon will open 24/7 until further notice within the waters of the Aniak Box (see map) beginning 7 a.m. on Saturday, June 22.

Restrictions for salmon caught using rod and reel gear within the Aniak Box include:

Chinook salmon

  • Under 20 inches (as measured from the mid eye to the tail fork) may be retained with no bag or possession limits.
  • Over 20 inches (as measured from the mid eye to the tail fork) may be retained with a 2 per day, 2 in possession limit.

Sockeye salmon, pink salmon, and non-salmon species

  • May be retained with no bag or possession limits.

Chum and coho salmon

  • May not be retained and must be returned to the water alive and unharmed.

Corrected: June 20, 2024 at 11:13 AM AKDT
This story has been updated to clarify which restrictions apply to which opportunities.
Evan Erickson is a reporter at KYUK who has previously worked as a copy editor, audio engineer and freelance journalist.
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