fish

The Federal Subsistence Board will look at special actions requests to federalize salmon fisheries. Photo by Shane Iverson / KYUK.

The Federal Subsistence Board will look at special action requests to federalize salmon fisheries. Photo by Shane Iverson / KYUK.

The Federal Subsistence Board will be considering federalizing the Yukon and Kuskokwim salmon fisheries this summer.

Officials with the Office of Subsistence Management have received six special action requests asking the board to limit the fishery to federally qualified users and manage salmon stocks. They also ask for an analysis to determine eligible users and develop an allocation strategy.
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2015 is predicted to be a below-average king salmon run. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

2015 is predicted to be a below-average king salmon run. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

The state is expecting a bigger run of king salmon on the Kuskokwim this summer, but still well below average. State managers say they expect strong conservation measures to continue in 2015 to ensure enough fish make it up the river to spawn. Leading up to the season, managers are seeking early input to make the season a success.

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ADF&G will install a new weir in 2015. Graphic from ADF&G.

ADF&G will install a new weir in 2015. Graphic from ADF&G.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will install a new weir in the headwaters of the Kuskokwim this summer to better track king salmon on their journey up the river to their spawning grounds.
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Kuskokwim River Inter Tribal Fisheries Commission steering committee members hear from AVCP attorney Sky Starkey. Photo by Ben Matheson  / KYUK.

Kuskokwim River Inter Tribal Fisheries Commission steering committee members hear from AVCP attorney Sky Starkey. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

Efforts to establish tribal co-management of Kuskokwim salmon are slowly progressing. A steering committee is in Bethel to sketch out the future of who regulates the river. Kuskokwim fishermen are eager to be managers, instead of simply advisers.

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2014 saw the first dipnetting on the Kuskokwim river. Photo by Ben Matheson/KYUK.

2014 saw the first dipnetting on the Kuskokwim river. Photo by Ben Matheson/KYUK.

The Federal Subsistence Board is meeting in Anchorage this week to work through a long list of proposals, including a couple of Kuskokwim salmon initiatives.
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Fish and Game Commissioner Cora Campbell. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

Fish and Game Commissioner Cora Campbell. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

Tribal co-management and Chinook bycatch took center stage Tuesday at a subsistence panel at the Association of Village Council Presidents conference.

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Photo by Shane Iverson / KYUK.

Photo by Shane Iverson / KYUK.

Unprecedented closures kept fishermen this summer from targeting king salmon in an effort to bring more fish to spawning grounds after several poor runs. The drainage-wide results showing how well the management worked are now beginning arrive, and the state says the Kuskokwim may have achieved its critical Chinook escapement goal.

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Photo by Shane Iverson / KYUK.

Photo by Shane Iverson / KYUK.

With more than 80 percent of the coho salmon run thought to be past Bethel, time is running short if the Federal Subsistence Board were to act on requests that the federal government take over the fishery. Six tribes and groups had asked for that after the state opened commercial fishing in July before many families had put away enough fish for the year.
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ADF&GThe Alaska Department of Fish and Game has announced a 12-hour commercial salmon fishing period in the Quinhagak and Goodnews Bay districts. Both open at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
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Bethel Test Fishery early season catch. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

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

At 4pm Friday afternoon, lower Kuskokwim fishermen will have the first four hour opening for fishing with 6” gillnets. This is the first drift opportunity with bigger nets in a month. Roland White is the Tuntutuliak Traditional Council President.
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