Hunting & Fishing

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

Kuskokwim Bay will have its third commercial salmon fishing opening of the season for 12 hours on July 8, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Napaskiak fishermen pull a gillnet out of the Kuskokwim River during a fishing opening on June 12, 2018.
Katie Basile / KYUK

The entire Kuskokwim River mainstem is open to gillnets until further notice. The change went into effect on July 7 at 12:01 a.m. Gillnets must be 6-inch mesh or less, 45 meshes in depth, and up to 150 feet in length above the Johnson River. Gillnets can be 300 feet in length below the Johnson River.

Yukon Chum Commercial Opener Canceled

Jul 6, 2020
Katie Basile

The Yukon River commercial fishing opening originally scheduled to start in District 1 on Monday, July 6 has been canceled.  

Kuskokwim River Drainage Map

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.

Kwik'Pak Fisheries in Emmonak, Alaska on July 15, 2019.
Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

A positive COVID-19 case in Mountain Village has shut down commercial fishing in that community. Kwik’pak, a plant that processes Yukon River salmon, has stopped purchasing fish in Y2, or District 2 of the Yukon River, which includes Mountain Village, Pitkas Point, St. Mary’s, Pilot Station, and Marshall.

Boats in Quinhagak
Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

There will be another 12-hour commercial salmon opening in Kuskokwim Bay on Friday, July 3 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Subsistence fishing in the area will close for 24 hours, from 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 3 to 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, July 4. 

Fishermen use a gillnet to target salmon in the Kuskokwim River near Napaskiak during a subsistence fishing opening on June 12, 2018.
Katie Basile / KYUK

The lower Kuskokwim River will remain closed to gillnets until more red and chum salmon arrive. King salmon numbers are low, but are expected meet the lower end of the state’s Kuskokwim River drainagewide spawning escapement goal. Meanwhile, the chum and red salmon are running late and just starting to pick up at Bethel. Managers want to see more salmon passing Bethel before allowing gillnets to return to the lower mainstem of the river.

Kings Caught In The Yukon Can Be Kept

Jun 30, 2020
Katie Basile

Fisheries managers in Western Alaska have been concerned about salmon returns this year, but there was good news from the Yukon River system this past weekend. So many king salmon swam by the sonar station that fishing restrictions have been loosed. 

Gillnet Restrictions Loosen On Yukon

Jun 29, 2020
Katie Basile

This weekend, gillnets were allowed back into the Yukon River to target non-salmon species. The nets can only be used during fishing closures in sloughs and tributaries. They may not be used in the main stem of the river. 

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

The king salmon run on the Kuskokwim River is coming in low. Meanwhile, chums and reds are late. Fishing with gillnets is being shut down in the lower river through at least the end of the month.