KYUK AM

Hunting & Fishing

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

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)

A gillnet soaks in the Kuskokwim River during a subsistence fishing opener on June 12, 2018.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Federal managers have announced a set gillnet opportunity for Saturday, June 1 to give subsistence users a taste of king salmon. The 12-hour opening runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. within the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, from the Kuskokwim River mouth upstream to the refuge boundary at Aniak.

Subsistence Fishing Opportunities In Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge

May 29, 2019
Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge

These restrictions apply to users fishing from Yukon Delta boundary at Kuskokwim River mouth to ADF&G regulatory marker ½ mile above Tuluksak River:

  • May 28 – June 1, 2019: 6 inch or less gillnets for federally qualified users.
    • When using 6 inch or smaller mesh, gillnet depth may not be more than 45 meshes deep. Also, net length may not exceed 50 fathoms (300 feet). 
  • June 1 – June 11, 2019: Harvest of Chinook Salmon allowable with Dip Nets, Beach Seines, Fish Wheels & Rod and Reel in mainstem Kuskokwim River.
    • **Gillnets in mainstem not allowed until announced**
    • **Gillnets and all other methods in salmon spawning tributaries not allowed for Chinook Salmon**
    • **Gillnets in non-salmon spawning tributaries allowed above 100 yards**

Kuskokwim River Fishing Opportunities

May 29, 2019
Kuskokwim River subsistence users contend with fishing challenges during a season of high water in 2018.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Fishing opportunities from Yukon Delta NWR boundary at Kuskokwim River mouth to ½ mile above Tuluksak River:

  • May 28:  Fishing closed to non-Federally qualified subsistence users
  • May 28 - May 31, 2019: Gill net drift and set net fishing is open with 6-inch or less gillnets for federally qualified subsistence users
  • June 1 - June 11, 2019: Openers are to be determined, Refuge will match State of Alaska 4-inch openers with a 6-inch opener. Estimated openers are for 1 or 2 during this time
  • June 1, 2019 (time to be announced by Alaska Department of Fish and Game): 12-hour set-net fishing with 6-inch or less gillnets
  • June 12, 15, and 19, 2019 (6 a.m. to 6 p.m.):  Fishing is open with 6” mesh or less. 150 feet in length above Johnson River, 300 feet or less below the Johnson River
  • June 20: Openers to be determined

Federally qualified subsistence users can fish the lower Kuskokwim River with 6-inch mesh gillnets until Saturday, June 1. On that date, federal managers will take control of the Kuskokwim from the river mouth upstream to the Yukon National Wildlife Refuge boundary at Aniak, closing this area of the main-stem to gillnets, except during pre-announced fishing openings.

USFWS

Geese, ducks, and swans are flocking to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta to nest and raise their young. To allow the birds time to lay their eggs, waterfowl hunting will close for the following month. The shutdown begins May 28, 2019 and lasts through June 28, 2019. For black brant geese, the closure will extend through July 10, 2019 to give the young birds time to fledge, or grow feathers strong enough to fly.

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

Smelts are swimming up the Kuskokwim River. That means king salmon will soon follow, and with them, fishing restrictions.


It’s Almost Time For Salmon On The Yukon

May 15, 2019
Katie Basile

Salmon are expected to show up in the Yukon River in just a few weeks, and biologists say that fishermen can expect a similar or slightly higher number of kings in the river than last year. They predict a run size of 168,000 to 241,000 kings this summer.

“This current outlook is similar to last year,” said Holly Carroll, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's manager of the Yukon River’s summer king and chum runs. “The midpoint for this year is about 204,000. So if it comes in at the low end, it will be similar to last year.”

Tracking The Elusive Moose

May 14, 2019

On Tuesday, Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists will be out in the field doing a browse survey, trying to measure how much vegetation is being eaten by moose. They compare the growth of willow to the amount eaten to get an idea if there is enough, too much, or room for more moose in the habitat.

Wildlife Biologist Phillip Perry says that this year's early spring means that the department is in a race with time to get the data.

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