salmon

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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Photo by Shane Iverson / KYUK.

Photo by Shane Iverson / KYUK.

Alaska subsistence users currently navigate a complicated dual management system of state and federal control. That could expand in the future to include tribes working closely in some form of co-management. Kuskokwim tribal leaders plan to take steps soon toward establishing a tribal commission for the co-management of salmon.

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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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The new Kuskokwim Subsistence Salmon Panel met in Bethel Thursday. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

The new Kuskokwim Subsistence Salmon Panel met in Bethel Thursday. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

A panel is exploring the uncertain future of the Kuskokwim salmon fishery this week in Bethel. The new Kuskokwim Subsistence Panel, includes three Board of Fish members and fishing stakeholders from the YK Delta.

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Fishers line up to unload their fish at tender, Kelly-Mae near Napaskiak on Friday, July 18th during a six-hour commercial opening for chum salmon. - Photo by Sophie Evan

Fishers line up to unload their fish at tender, Kelly-Mae near Napaskiak on Friday, July 18th during a six-hour commercial opening for chum salmon. – Photo by Sophie Evan

Kuskokwim area commercial salmon fishermen earned 2.2 million dollars in 2014. A preliminary report from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game released Friday shows the total income slightly below last year’s total, but still 27-percent above the 10-year average.
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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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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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ADF&GCommercial salmon fishing in the Quinhagak and Goodnews Bay districts is set for Monday. A 12-hour opener begins at 9 a.m. in both districts.
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