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Hunting & Fishing

Stories related to subsistence/commercial/sport hunting, fishing, gathering activities.

Yukon Fishing Is On

Jun 14, 2019

The summer chum salmon run on the Yukon River has begun, and so far the numbers are coming in higher than historical averages. It is still early in the run, though, and the fish may just be returning early.

The number of king salmon returning this year are at about the same levels as last year, and about average for the river system. 

Kuskokwim Salmon
Katie Basile / KYUK

If you’re confused about Kuskokwim fishing regulations this summer, you’re not alone. Different regulations are coming from different government agencies for the same river. One of the big reasons for that divide is how many king salmon the agencies want to reach their spawning grounds.


Kuskokwim King Salmon
Katie Basile / KYUK

Guests: 

  • Aaron Tiernan: Alaska Department of Fish and Game - Kuskokwim Area Manager
  • Ray Born: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Yukon Kuskokwim Delta National Wildlife Refuge Manager
  • Aaron Moses: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Yukon Kuskokwim Delta National Wildlife Refuge Subsistence Specialist

A fisherman soaks a gill net in the Kuskokwim River near Napaskiak on June 12, 2018.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Find out the dates, times, and regulations for subsistence fishing openings along the state and federal waters of the Kuskokwim River.

A gillnet on the Kuskokwim River on June 12, 2018.
Katie Basile / KYUK

State law enforcement is cracking down on fishing violations this season. During the Saturday, June 8 Kuskokwim subsistence opening, Alaska Wildlife Troopers confiscated 18 nets. Most of the nets were longer than regulations allow, or had mesh sizes that were too big. Troopers cited one person for driftnetting during a set-net opener.

Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

When most people think of sport fishing in Alaska, they think of Homer, Bristol Bay, or the Kenai River. They don’t think of Quinhagak, a small remote village near the Kuskokwim Bay in Southwest Alaska. But people from all over the world come to Quinhagak, lured in by its vast selection of salmon and trout. 


Gillnet fishing on the Kuskokwim River near Aniak.
Dave Cannon

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.

Harvest numbers are in from the June 1 set net fishing opening on the Kuskokwim River. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service estimates that 190 king salmon were taken, along with 250 non-salmon species: sheefish and other whitefish. No other salmon species, like reds or chums, were harvested.

A subsistence fisherman harvests a king salmon from the lower Kuskokwim River during a gillnet opening on June 12, 2018.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Subsistence families along the Kuskokwim River can mark their calendars for upcoming fishing openings in June.


June Fishing Openings In Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge

Jun 6, 2019
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will manage the federal waters of the lower Kuskokwim River during the king salmon run of 2018.
Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge

The following notice applies to the waters within the boundaries of Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge from the mouth of the Kuskokwim River to the refuge boundary at Aniak.

Fishing Opportunities:

TIME:

·      June 8, 2019. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (SET NET ONLY, DRIFT GILLNETS ARE PROHIBITED)

·      June 12, 2019, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. (set and drift net)

·      June 15, 2019, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. (set and drift net)

·      June 19, 2019, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. (set and drift net)

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