The abundance of king salmon on the Yukon River this summer has been larger than average. Much larger than average. More than enough king salmon have swum up the Yukon to Canada than are needed to meet the Canadian harvest share. In fact, it even exceeds the upper end of that harvest share required by the US-Canada Salmon Treaty.
As of Sunday, approximately 69,000 kings had been counted at the sonar project near Eagle. That’s greater than the average of around 53,000 for this date. There is also a higher than average female population among the kings at the Eagle sonar for this time of year.
By contrast, this year's silver run is expected to be only average.
Subsistence fishing is open in Districts 1 and 2 of the Yukon River 24/7, except during commercial openings. Gillnet gear must be 7 1/2 inch or smaller mesh. Subsistence openings will close before, during, and after each commercial opening.
A six-hour commercial opening in District 1 of the Yukon River starts Tuesday August 8 at 2 p.m. and runs till 8 p.m. This opening is limited to gillnets of 6-inch mesh or smaller. All king salmon caught must be used for subsistence or released live. They cannot be sold.
Again, during the commercial opening, subsistence fishing will close in District 1 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday August 8.
Another commercial opening will take place in the Yukon River District 2 on Wednesday August 9. That four-hour opening begins at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday and closes at 9:00 p.m. Again, the gear is limited to 6-inch mesh or smaller gillnets. Fishermen must be sure that they have a market for their fish. There are no tenders working this opening; buying stations are located at Mountain Village and St. Mary's.