The Alaska Department of Fish & Game announced the first closures in the Kuskokwim River this year, and it will come with an additional restriction: no whitefish nets.
Fish and Game is closing the Kuskokwim River and salmon tributaries in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta to all gillnets on May 20.
The closure will be in effect from the mouth of the Kuskokwim to just below the Holitna River.
Targeted hook and line fishing for king salmon is also closed. Fish wheels are required to have a live box with at least 45 cubic feet of water and must be checked at least every six hours. Fishing with beach seines and dipnets is allowed for now. Any king, or chinook, salmon caught by any of these methods must be returned to the water alive.
Subsistence fishing with gillnets will also be closed in the salmon spawning tributaries.
The Kwethluk River drainage will be closed, including much of Kuskokuak Slough.
The Kasigluk and the Kiseralik Rivers will also be closed including the Old Kuskokuak Slough.
The Tuluksak River drainage will close, including the area it connects to the Kuskokwim River, approximately two miles downstream from the mouth.
The Aniak River Drainage will be closed including the area it connects with the Kuskokwim River.
The closures are meant to let more king salmon make it their spawning grounds after years of low returns.
Similar closures and restrictions will go into effect above the Holitna River on June 1.