Subsistence fishing will open full-time in the Upper Kuskokwim River on Wednesday. Starting at 10 a.m. on June 12, subsistence fishermen will be able to fish around-the-clock until further notice. The opening applies to state waters, starting from the federal refuge boundary at Aniak, upstream to the Kuskokwim headwaters.
Gillnets are limited to 6-inch mesh, 25 fathoms in length and 45 meshes in depth. King salmon caught in these nets can be kept, as can king salmon caught in fish wheels, dip nets, beach seines, and with a hook and line.
All gillnets must have an attached keg or buoy with the fisherman’s first initial, last name, and address written on it.
A couple areas in the Upper Kuskokwim will remain closed to gillnets. Those areas are the Aniak River, because salmon spawn there, and the “Aniak Box,” an area in front of Aniak where salmon bound for the Aniak River often mill. These areas remain open to other gear types like 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.
The Kuskokwim mainstem and salmon-spawning tributaries below the federal refuge boundary at Aniak remain closed under federal management. Gillnet openings in these federal waters are scheduled for Wednesday, June 12; Saturday, June 15; and Wednesday, June 19 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.