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Steven Maxie of Napaskiak speaks at the Yupiit Nation Tribal Forum.

Stephen Maxie of Napaskiak speaks at the Yupiit Nation Tribal Forum.

The Kuskokwim’s king salmon will be running within a matter of weeks. With unprecedented early summer fishing restrictions, people are trying to figure out how to fill their freezers. Representatives of the Yupiit Nation attempted to answer that question during the first day of a tribal forum in Bethel.

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Federal management responsibility map, from Office of Subsistence Management.

Federal management responsibility map, from Office of Subsistence Management.

The Federal Subsistence Board Thursday unanimously approved a special action request from the Napaskiak Traditional Council that would limit any available king salmon to federally qualified subsistence users of 32 specific Kuskokwim communities.

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After five days of fish meetings that brought state and federal managers together, along with tribal leaders, advisory council members, and Working Group members from up and down the Kuskokwim River, fishers still don’t know exactly what’s going to happen during the 2014 fishing season.

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James Charles discusses salmon management at the Yukon Kuskokwim Subsistence Regional Advisory Council meeting in Bethel. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

James Charles discusses salmon management at the Yukon Kuskokwim Subsistence Regional Advisory Council meeting in Bethel. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

The Yukon Kuskokwim Subsistence Regional Advisory Council on Monday pushed forward a recommendation to close fishing for king salmon to all but federally qualified subsistence users. They also moved to prioritize the allocation of any surplus to those who cut, dry, and smoke kings in the traditional way.

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