Hunting & Fishing

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

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

A group of fishermen in Quinhagak has formed an organization to revitalize commercial salmon fishing in Kuskokwim Bay. Their group is called the Independent Fishermen of Quinhagak Cooperative.

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

For the first time in five years, commercial salmon fishing is returning to Kuskokwim Bay. A new buyer hopes to start purchasing salmon from fishermen before the end of the month.

Katie Basile

The chums are beginning to swim up the Yukon River. They are even later than last year’s run, which was the latest run biologists had ever seen.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game manager Holly Carroll says that the subsistence fishing openings are designed to target chums using dip nets and beach seines, and let all kings swim on to spawn.

Sampling a Yukon River king salmon.

The Yukon River king salmon run appears to be coming in much weaker than forecast. State management biologist Holly Carroll says that both the king and summer chum runs are running late, and king numbers are very low.

Yukon River Fishing Closure Extends Along Coast

Jun 24, 2020
Katie Basile

Managers are imposing more measures to try to conserve Yukon River king salmon. Until now, restrictions on fishing have been limited to the Yukon River system. But this week, opportunities for subsistence fishing along the coast near the river are also being reduced because king salmon have not appeared in expected numbers. Instead of being open every day all week, fishing in the South Coastal District is being cut in half, to three-and-a-half days a week.

Shane Iverson / KYUK

There will be a gillnet fishing opening in the lower Kuskokwim River on Wednesday, June 24, lasting 12 hours from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The opening applies from the Kuskokwim River mouth to the Kalskag Bluffs.

Deepening Cuts To Fishing Opportunities On The Yukon

Jun 22, 2020
Katie Basile

The king salmon have still not arrived in any significant numbers in the lower Yukon River. The chum salmon have begun showing up, but they are later than last year. State fish managers are closing subsistence fishing for kings on the Yukon to allow the early fish to get to spawning grounds. That means no gillnets during the subsistence fishing openings.

No Subsistence Fishing This Weekend In Lower Yukon

Jun 18, 2020
Katie Basile

The Kuskokwim is not the only river in the region seeing a late return of salmon this summer. The king salmon headed to the Yukon River also appear to be late. Nowhere near the predicted number of kings have shown up in the lower Yukon, and the chum salmon are also not there in the expected numbers. 

Joey Mendolia / Alaska Public Media

On June 18, another section of the Kuskokwim River will open full-time to drift nets. 

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

Is the king salmon run on the Kuskokwim River late or low? That’s the question subsistence users and managers are asking as the kings arrive in numbers smaller than expected. State biologists say that this coming week could provide an answer.