KYUK AM

Find Out Kuskokwim Subsistence Fishing Openings And Regulations

Jun 12, 2019

A fisherman soaks a gill net in the Kuskokwim River near Napaskiak on June 12, 2018.
Credit Katie Basile / KYUK

Find out the dates, times, and regulations for subsistence fishing openings along the state and federal waters of the Kuskokwim River.

STATE WATERS:

  • From the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge Boundary at Aniak upstream to the Kuskokwim River headwaters.

Fishing Opening: 

  • Fishing opens Wednesday, June 12 at 10 a.m. and will remain open until further notice.

Who Can fish:

  • Alaska residents.

Drift Gillnet Restrictions:

  • Six-inch or less mesh.
  • Maximum net length of 150 feet (25 fathoms).
  • Forty-five meshes or less in depth.
  • Cannot stretch across more than half of a waterway.
  • All drift gillnets must have an attached keg or buoy with the fisherman’s first initial, last name, and address written on it. Phone numbers are also recommended, but not required.
  • Kings caught in gillnets can be kept.

Set Gillnet Restrictions:

  • Six-inch or less mesh.
  • Must be attached to bank and oriented perpendicular to river.
  • May not exceed 60 feet in length in water.
  • May not be operated more than 100 feet from ordinary high-water mark. This mark is where the grass or willows begins to grow.
  • Cannot stretch across more than half of a waterway.
  • All set gillnets must have an attached keg or buoy with the fisherman’s first initial, last name, and address written on it. Phone numbers are also recommended, but not required.
  • Kings caught in gillnets can be kept.

Other Gear:

  • Fish wheel, dip net, beach seines, and hook and line are also allowed. Kings caught in this gear can be kept.

Closed Areas:

  • The Aniak River, because salmon spawn in this tributary.
  • The “Aniak Box,” an area stretching along the Kuskokwim River in front of Aniak where salmon bound for the Aniak River often mill.
  • Note: These areas remain open to fish wheels, dip nets, beach seines, and hook and line. However, any kings caught in these specific areas must be returned to the water alive.

FEDERAL WATERS:     

  • From the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge Boundary at Aniak downstream to the Kuskokwim River mouth.

Fishing Openings:

  • Wednesday, June 12 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 15 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 19 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 22 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Who Can Fish:

  • Federally qualified subsistence users. That means people living in communities along the Kuskokwim River and its tributaries, and in the coastal villages of Chefornak, Kipnuk, Kwigillingok, and Kongiganak.

Drift Gillnet Restrictions:

  • Six-inch or less mesh.
  • Maximum net length of 150 feet (25 fathoms) above Johnson River.
  • Maximum net length of 300 feet (50 fathoms) below Johnson River.
  • Forty-five meshes or less in depth.
  • Cannot stretch across more than half of a waterway.
  • Aggregate length of nets cannot be more than 300 feet (50 fathoms).
  • All drift gillnets must have an attached keg or buoy with the fisherman’s first initial, last name, and address written on it.
  • Kings caught in gillnets can be kept.

Set Gillnet Restrictions:

  • Six-inch or less mesh.
  • Must be attached to bank and oriented perpendicular to river in tributaries.
  • May not be operated more than 100 feet from ordinary high-water mark. This mark is where the grass or willows begin to grow.
  • Cannot stretch across more than half of a waterway.
  • Aggregate length of nets cannot be more than 300 feet (50 fathoms).
  • All set gillnets must have an attached keg or buoy with the fisherman’s first initial, last name, and address written on it.
  • Kings caught in gillnets can be kept.

Other Gear:

  • Fish wheel, dip net, beach seines, and hook and line are also allowed. Kings caught in this gear can be kept, even outside a fishing opening.

NEW:

From south edge of Uknavik Slough and then due east of the edge of the bluff line (Kalskag line) upriver to Aniak boundary:

Closed Areas:

  • The Eek River.
  • The Kwethluk River drainage at its confluence with Kuskokuak Slough.  
  • The Kasigluk and Kisaralik river drainages, including Old Kuskokuak Slough to ADF&G regulatory markers at the confluence of Old Kuskokuak Slough with Kuskokuak Slough.
  • The Tuluksak River drainage, including its confluence with the Kuskokwim River, and downstream approximately one mile to ADF&G regulatory markers.
  • The Aniak River drainage to ADF&G regulatory markers at its confluence with the Kuskokwim River.
  • The "Aniak Box," described as waters of the Kuskokwim River main stem from the Yukon Delta NWR boundary at Aniak downstream to a line formed from the northwest corner of the runway (latitude 61° 35’ 16” N, longitude 159° 33’ 28” W), due north to a point on the southeast corner of the sandbar (latitude 61° 35’ 37” N, longitude 159° 33’ 16” W).