King salmon have arrived on the Yukon River. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says that the first subsistence-caught king was reported last week. With the kings moving upriver, the state is issuing a series of fishing restrictions.
Beginning June 12, management of king salmon on the lower and middle Kuskokwim River will switch from state to federal control. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will hand over management to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Greg Roczicka died Sunday night at his home in Bethel at the age of 61. His death is a loss for the community. Roczicka grew up on the Kuskokwim, living a subsistence lifestyle and dedicating his career to championing and preserving the way of life that he loved and knew the region depended on.
Tune in Thursday for another Fish Talk, a call-in show about fish on the Kuskokwim. This week we’re talking about all the state and federal regulations that have come down on the Kuskokwim recently, and what fishermen can expect for the season ahead.
Waterfowl nesting season has begun on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. To give the eggs time to hatch and the young birds a chance to grow, subsistence hunting for all waterfowl in the region will close, beginning Thursday.
Over the past several years, fishery managers have placed extremely tight harvest restrictions on king salmon fishing in the Yukon River. The hope is that conservation will lead to larger runs. When managers make those decisions - telling fishermen when and where they can fish and what gear they can use - they need to know how those measures affect subsistence harvests; they need samples of the fish. The state is working with subsistence fishermen in a voluntary program to get those samples.