Bleak Outlook For Fall Yukon Chum

Aug 25, 2020

Credit Katie Basile / KYUK

It’s official. The Yukon River’s fall chum salmon run is shaping up to be the lowest run on record. 

The projected abundance is below what is needed to meet either the drainage-wide escapement, tributary, or Canada treaty goals.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has stopped all fishing for chum salmon on the Yukon River. That means that there is no subsistence, commercial, sport, or personal use fishing for fall chum salmon on the Yukon or its tributaries. 

Subsistence fishing targeting whitefish and pike can take place with 4-inch or smaller mesh gill nets. Fishermen on the lower Yukon, downriver of Nulato, can use hook and line to target fish other than fall chum.

The coho, or silver salmon, also seem to running late and in weaker numbers this year. The average silver run size on the Yukon is around 243,000 fish.