Kuskokwim Federal Waters Opening To Gillnets For 12 Hours On July 5

Jul 3, 2018

A gillnet drifts in the lower waters of the Kuskokwim River during a subsistence fishing opening on June 12, 2018.
Credit Katie Basile / KYUK

The federal waters of the Kuskokwim River will have a 12-hour subsistence gillnet opening from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 5. Standard net restrictions apply.

The opening comes as chum and red salmon have become increasingly more abundant relative to king salmon in the lower river. At the state-run Bethel Test Fishery, for every 31.2 chum and reds caught on Monday, there was one king salmon harvested. This species ratio is much larger than during the previous gillnet opening last week, when 8.7 chum and reds for every king were caught at the test fishery.

Thursday’s weather forecast is calling for cloudy skies. Friday through Sunday’s forecast predicts partly cloudy skies with the possibility of rain showers as families dry their fish.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in consultation with the Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, decided on the opening at its weekly Tuesday meeting. The groups did not consider the recommendation made last week by the Kuskokwim River Salmon Management Working Group to designate additional fishing hours to the community of Kasigluk following recent deaths, which have prevented families from fishing.