Subsistence fishermen on the Kuskokwim are not the only ones holding back on the spring king salmon harvest. Managers on the Yukon River are also taking a conservative approach and trying to let the first pulse of kings make it up the river to spawn. During the early run, the Lower Yukon fishery will target only the summer chum salmon. That means that subsistence fishing on the Lower Yukon will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week only for dip nets, beach seines, and live-release fish wheels.
So far, managers say, the king run on the Yukon this year seems to be similar to the run last summer. After the first pulse has swum through, managers plan to re-open District 4 subsistence gillnet fishing on June 21 for two 48-hour periods a week with gillnets restricted to 6 inch or smaller mesh and fish wheels.
There will also be a subsistence gillnet opening on Saturday June 24 at noon for a 24 hour period with 7.5 inch or smaller mesh gillnets and fish wheels to target kings.
Additional 7.5 inch or smaller mesh gillnet openings will be announced when and if the run strengthens.
Meanwhile on the Kuskokwim, managers are still hoping the king run will strengthen.