KYUK AM

Quinhagak Asks State To Close Summer Sport Fishery To Limit COVID-19 Spread

Apr 8, 2020

A boat rides down a river near Quinhagak.
Credit Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

Quinhagak community leaders are asking the State of Alaska to close sport fishing in the waterways of the Kuskokwim Bay this summer. The request precedes an appeal from Dillingham city and tribal leaders asking the governor to close Bristol Bay’s commercial salmon fishery.

In Quinhagak, the Native Village of Kwinhagak, Quinhagak City Council, and the Qanirtuuq Board of Directors jointly passed the resolution on April 1 and 2.

The resolution asks the state to suspend all sport fishing activities for 2020 on the Kanektok and Arolik Rivers. The premier silver salmon fishing in these waterways draws sport fishermen from European countries and the lower 48 every year.

The resolution claims that the influx of these anglers increases the chances of the novel coronavirus entering the small, coastal community, and that it will not be able to meet recommended preventative health measures if these travelers arrive.