Fishing Restrictions Relaxed on Lower Kuskokwim

by Ben Matheson on June 30, 2014

Photo by Shane Iverson / KYUK.

Photo by Shane Iverson / KYUK.

Gillnet fishing restrictions have been relaxed on the lower Kuskokwim river.

From the mouth to Chuathbaluk subsistence fishing for chum and sockeye salmon with 6-inch gillnets, up to 50 fathoms long will be open until further notice. Managers say chum and sockeye far outnumber kings at this point. Managers are also opening up dipnetting to 24/7 on the same stretch. Fishermen must release any king salmon caught back to the river.

Managers are allowing unrestricted gill net mesh size in marine waters from Naskonat Peninsula to the Ishkowik River.

Higher up the river where more king salmon are swimming, there will be an opening from Chuathbaluk to the Holitna River today (Monday) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Above the Holita to the headwaters, managers expect to open a rod and reel fishery soon.

Management has transferred from federal to state control because the openings are directed towards chum and sockeye.

The year’s first gillnet restrictions went into place May 20th. The 2014 season saw unprecedented restrictions to bring more king salmon to spawning grounds after a record low run in 2013. Mangers expect to reach at least the lower end of the escapement goal, but the final tally will not be known for months.

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