State Closes Marine Waters to Subsistence Salmon Fishing

by Ben Matheson on June 2, 2014

Bethel Test Fishery early season catch. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

Bethel Test Fishery early season catch. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

State fishery managers have closed the marine waters at the mouth of the Kuskowkim to further protect king salmon coming up the river. The state has evidently never closed this area, according to Dan Bergstrom, the Arctic Yukon Kuskokwim Regional Management Coordinator with the Department of Fish and Game.

“With the river closure, we’ve heard some people might want to go fishing below the federal boundary, so if we close the marine waters like we are, we can effectively conserve Chinook salmon,” said Bergstrom.

The closures run from a point near the Ishkowik river on the west side of the Kuskowkim mouth, across the river to the boundary of district W-4. There is no gillnet fishing allowed at all.

Bergstrom says there hasn’t been much historic fishing effort in that area. But with a weak run expected, managers are seeking to get as many kings to the spawning grounds as they can.

“That’s the main idea here, we want to emphasize is that we want to meet the escapement goals for king salmon this year,” said Berstrom.

Federal managers are currently in charge of waters from the mouth up to Aniak, while the state manages waters below the boundary and upriver of Aniak.

The news release is available here.

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