Hunting & Fishing

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

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

Healthy numbers of salmon are reaching their Kuskokwim spawning grounds this season, according to state standards. Across salmon species, state-issued escapement goals are being met. These goals are set to help ensure sustainable runs and future subsistence harvests.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Silver salmon are now arriving in the lower Kuskokwim River. The state-operated Bethel Test Fishery began catching silvers on Sunday of this week.

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

Multiple fishing restrictions are being lifted on the Kuskokwim River at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, July 26. Kuskokwim tributaries are meeting their state-issued escapement goals for king salmon, and the state estimates that 99 percent of the species has moved out of the lower river. As a result, the state says that the situation no longer warrants conservation measures for kings in the lower waters.

Petra Harpak / KYUK

We’re beginning to get a look at the number of king salmon that are reaching their spawning grounds in Kuskokwim river tributaries. The data comes after another summer of conservation restrictions on king salmon fishing. The numbers allow subsistence families to see the results of their sacrifices and for fishery managers to gauge the effects of their decisions.

Enough kings made it into the Yukon River to meet the predicted minimum this season. Now that most of the kings are headed well up the waterway, the data indicates that the run, after struggling, came in at 74,000. This is just above the minimum preseason prediction of 71,000. There were fewer older fish than predicted with the 5 to 7-year fish numbers low, but the proportion of 4 to 6-year kings were above average. The proportion of females in the run was well above average at 51 percent.

You can once again get salmon from the Bethel fish bin, located by Corina’s Groceries along Brown’s Slough. The green bin was replaced Sunday afternoon after being thrown into the slough last week.

Katie Basile / KYUK

You won’t be able to find Bethel’s free fish bin this weekend, but there is still a way to get salmon caught in the state's test fishery.

John McIntyre

As fishing restrictions push salmon harvests on the Kuskokwim River later into the wet part of summer, families are seeking new ways to dry their fish and keep bugs away. A local fish biologist has a possible solution and is seeking volunteers to test it out.

More salmon are now available at the Bethel fish bin, operated by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Fish from the Bethel Test Fishery have been deposited there since last week. Now, fish caught at the Bethel sonar site will also be added to the cache.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Fewer summer chum and king salmon swam up the Yukon River than expected this season, although high water and debris made it tough to catch and count the salmon swimming by.