Friday Kuskokwim Fishing Openings Scheduled

by Ben Matheson on June 25, 2014

Photo by Shane Iverson / KYUK.

Photo by Shane Iverson / KYUK.

The season’s first drift gillnet openings above Tuluksak begins 10 a.m Friday. 50 fathom 6 inch nets will be allowed from Tuluksak to Chuathbaluk between 10 and 6 p.m.

The second opening for the section of the river including Bethel from Tuluksak down to the Johnson River runs the same time, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. Fishers can use 6-inch, 50-fathom nets.

As chum and sockeye become much more abundant than king salmon, managers are allowing more fishing for those species, although the 6-inch nets will still catch king salmon. This year brought unprecedented restrictions as managers attempt to bring many more kings to spawning grounds after 2013’s record low run.

Closer to the mouth of the Kuskokwim from the Johnson river to the southern tip of Eek island, 6-inch nets can be used without time limits beginning 8 a.m. Friday until further notice.

Photo by Shane Iverson / KYUK.

Photo by Shane Iverson / KYUK.

Managers are in the process of transitioning from federal to state management. But subsistence fishing within the boundaries of the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge is still limited to residents of 32 Kuskokwim communities as set out in a federal special action.

Restrictions went into place May 20th. Managers expect to reach at least the lower end of the escapement goal if they continue with a conservative approach. Weir operations are coming in place and beginning to count salmon.

The full regulations are available here.

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