Hunting & Fishing

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

Yukon Commercial Gillnet Openings

Jul 2, 2018

Later this week, the lower Yukon River will see its first commercial gillnet salmon fishing openings of the season. There will be two 6-hour openings for gillnets in District 1: one on Wednesday, the Fourth of July, and the other on Thursday, July 5.  Both begin at 6 p.m. and end at midnight.  

In District 2, commercial fishing with dipnets and beach seine gear will continue until the weekend, when the district will have its first commercial gillnet openings on Saturday and Sunday. Each of them will begin at 4 p.m. and end at 10 p.m. 

Salmon are harvested from the Kuskokwim River during a subsistence fishing opening on June 12, 2018.
Katie Basile / KYUK

The lower Kuskokwim River is opening to gillnets on Friday, June 29 just as a surge of king salmon appear to be swimming by. The timing could result in a high harvest of kings during a year when conservation was the intent.

Katie Basile / KYUK

After a large snowfall in the Alaska and Kilbuck Mountain ranges, followed by a cool spring, the Kuskokwim River is running high, murky, and cool this season. The conditions are creating challenges for fishermen during an already highly restricted fishing season.

Katie Basile / KYUK

Friday's gillnet opening in the lower Kuskokwim River may not be the last one. The Kuskokwim River Salmon Management Working Group is recommending that the community of Kasigluk receive additional fishing hours this season after recent deaths limited the community’s ability to subsistence fish.

Fishermen soak a gillnet targeting salmon in the Kuskokwim River near Napaskiak during a subsistence fishing opening on June 12, 2018.
Katie Basile / KYUK

The federal waters of the lower Kuskokwim River will have a six-hour subsistence fishing opening on Friday. Openings have been limited and heavily restricted this season to conserve low king salmon stocks, and Friday’s opening will mark only the fourth opportunity to target salmon in the lower river this season. Amid conservation concerns, Kuskokwim residents are urging fellow fishermen to only fish during Friday’s opening if they need to. 

Katie Basile / KYUK

The escapement goal set at the beginning of the season for Kuskokwim River king salmon appears unlikely to be met, and another federal fishing opening has been scheduled, which will take more kings out of the water.

Gillnet fishing on the Kuskokwim River near Aniak.
Dave Cannon

This season, the state of Alaska offered permits to harvest king salmon in the middle and upper Kuskokwim River during fishing closures. This was the first year the permits have been available, and they allow each household to harvest a total of 10 kings for the length of the closures. On Tuesday at 1 p.m., that permit fishery ended.

Yukon Chums Plentiful, But Kings Scarce On Yukon River

Jun 25, 2018
Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Commercial fishing for summer chum salmon continues on the Yukon River with commercial openings for dip nets and beach seines in both Districts 1 and 2. The gear is designed to let as many kings swim by as possible. There is also restricted subsistence fishing this summer. 

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

The Kuskokwim River from the bluffs below Lower Kalskag upstream to the headwaters have opened 24/7 to gillnets until further notice.

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

Federal waters of the Kuskokwim River will open to gillnets on Sunday, June 24 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. from the mouth of the Kuskokwim River upstream to Aniak.