Hunting & Fishing

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

When and where you can fish on the Kuskokwim River.

A gillnet on the river
Katie Basile / KYUK

There will be three drift gillnet openings along the Kuskokwim River, from the mouth to the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge boundary at Aniak. Each opening will last 12 hours, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The openings are on June 12, June 15, and June 18.

Katie Basile / KYUK

The salmon run is in its initial push up the Kuskokwim River and is growing stronger by the day.

Kuskokwim king salmon.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Salmon are beginning to swim up the river, and many people are watching to see what kind of run there will be on the Kuskokwim this year.

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

Regulations for the Kuskokwim River salmon fishery will look similar to recent years.

Jim Dau / Alaska Department of Fish and Game

A special hunt has opened for two muskoxen stranded on a barren island. The unnamed island is located less than a mile south of Nunivak Island.

Gabby Salgado / KYUK

Bethel will smell like fried smelt tonight, Tuesday, May 19. The smelt began passing Bethel, traveling up the Kuskokwim River on Tuesday morning. Families and subsistence users headed to the seawall with long nets, dragging them through the water and lifting out the smelts’ narrow, silver bodies. 

Salmon drying on a Kuskokwim fish rack.
Shane Iverson / KYUK

It takes more than a pandemic to stop fishing. The salmon are on the way, and fishermen will be out on the Kuskokwim River this summer. With them will be biologists and harvest monitors. Orutsararmiut Native Council biologists and staff, among others, are getting ready to survey the salmon catch.

Yukon River salmon strips.

Boats are on the water again, and salmon fishing is right around the corner. Biologists will be monitoring subsistence catches to give them a picture of how many and what kinds of salmon are returning to the Kuskokwim, and how many of those fish are being harvested. These monitoring programs have been occurring for many seasons, and social distancing precautions amid the coronavirus pandemic mean that they will look a little different this year. Orutsararmiut Native Council Biologist Janessa Esquible-Hussion outlines what Bethel-area subsistence families can expect this summer.

Salmon caught during a rare gillnet opening on the Kuskokwim River on June 24, 2017.
Teresa Cotsirilos / KYUK

Management of the Yukon River summer salmon season is in flux. Some of that is normal. No one ever knows whether the fish will show up in the numbers predicted. But there is a new factor. This year, the state and the river communities are looking at how best to monitor salmon, while at the same time keeping local people safe from the coronavirus pandemic.