The Kuskokwim River Salmon Management Working Group met in regular session Wednesday, July 7th. The State of Alaska’s advisory committee is comprised of many salmon fisherman of all types from the headwaters of the Kuskokwim down to the Bay. They are tasked with advising Federal and State biologists on the management of Kuskokwim Salmon.
Chairman Fritz Charles started the meeting after establishing a quorum. The working group has thirteen (13) voting members, from upriver and downriver elders, to commercial, sport, and subsistence fisherman, a fish processor, and members from the Western Interior and Y-K Delta Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils.
The working group went through the formalities, including a prayer from upriver member LaMont Albertson. The meeting got underway with subsistence reports from all up and down the river. Subsistence fishing is minimal during rainy weather, and upriver fisherman are still waiting to see silvers arrive there.
The Bethel Test Fishery project was thanked for providing so many silvers to the Senior Center and elders. Member Greg Roczicka says the elders are very grateful to have filled their freezers with silvers.
Fish and Game Biologist Travis Elison then gave an overview on the Kuskokwim Salmon Run Assessment. He says escapement goals in all the Kuskokwim tributaries are still very low. But added that, the Kings are spawning.
A decision is expected Thursday July 8th, in the morning, on when the next commercial fishing opener will be.