Until further notice, the Eek River is closing to gillnets and fishing with hook and line for king salmon beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 2. Any kings caught with hook and line in the Eek River will need to be returned to the water alive.
Subsistence fishing with dip nets, beach seines, and fish wheels can continue on the Eek River, but all king salmon caught with this gear must be returned to the water alive.
These state regulations continue the federal regulations that had been in place for the Eek River throughout the month of June. The regulations briefly lifted at 12:01 a.m. on July 2, when the lower Kuskokwim River transferred from federal to state management.
The restrictions are a king salmon conservation measure. King salmon are arriving late and in low numbers on the Kuskokwim River, and the Eek River is a salmon-spawning tributary of the Kuskokwim.
“There is a concern that Eek River king salmon could be overharvested if the river was left open to gillnets,” said Nick Smith, Kuskokwim area biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.