KYUK AM

Subsistence Fishing Permits For Upriver Kuskokwim Kings

Jun 8, 2021

Kuskokwim King salmon caught near Bethel in 2018. Starting June 12, 2021, families with subsistence permits will be able to catch up to 10 king salmon upriver from Aniak.
Credit Katie Basile / KYUK

Beginning June 12, subsistence fishing will be allowed anytime in the upper region of the Kuskokwim River north of Aniak, which is managed by the state. Fishermen will need to obtain a state subsistence permit, which allows them to catch up to 10 king salmon for their households.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game Biologist Nick Smith said that all state waters on the upper river are open to permit holders by emergency order, except for one small section near the Aniak River.

“There’s an area immediately around the mouth that’s closed to gillnet fishing to protect the king salmon that are spawning in the Aniak River,” Smith explained.

Gillnets used with the Kuskokwim subsistence fishing permit must have 6-inch mesh or less, and be 25-fathoms long or less. 

Permits are available at all Alaska Department of Fish and Game offices, and in the various communities on the upper Kuskokwim River from Aniak to McGrath. To find out the closest source, call Bethel’s Fish and Game office at 543-2433.  

There are also provisions to allow someone to catch fish for another household, but to do so the fisherman will need both their own household permit and the permit for the other household.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists say that regular fishing openings are not likely to occur again in state waters until the middle of July, when chum and sockeye salmon are expected to arrive.