Salmon fishing on the Yukon River has slowed as biologists wait for more salmon to swim up the river. They aren’t just waiting for kings, they are also on the watch for summer chums, which have been so few in number that there has been no commercial fishery on the Yukon this year. Managers don’t know whether chums are just late or low, but right now they appear to be both.
So far, the king run on the Yukon is similar to last summer’s. So, like last year, managers are canceling a subsistence fishing period to let more of them swim up the Yukon to spawn. With no commercial fishing and a subsistence closure in Districts 1, 2, and 3, fishermen can still target non-salmon species using gillnets with 4-inch or less mesh.
Subsistence fishing for salmon in the Innoko River, a tributary of the Yukon river system, is open 24-7, but the fishing may be slim. Managers say that the reason they can open it to subsistence fishing 24-7 is because there usually aren’t many kings in the Innoko River near the Shageluk area. Gillnet mesh size in that fishery must be 7.5-inch or smaller.
For a current listing of fish openings on the Yukon River, call the toll-free hotline at 866-479-7387.