subsistence

The Kuskokwim Salmon Management Working Group put together a list of recommendations for early season chinook salmon management. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

The Kuskokwim Salmon Management Working Group put together a list of recommendations for early season chinook salmon management. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

A couple months before the king salmon begin to enter the river, the Kuskokwim River Salmon Management Working Group met to set recommendations for an early season of conservation.

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Fishermen and managers discussed ways to improve fishery management Thursday at the Kuskokwim Fishermen's Meeting. Photo by Ben Matheson /KYUK.

Fishermen and managers discussed ways to improve fishery management Thursday at the Kuskokwim Fishermen’s Meeting. Photo by Ben Matheson /KYUK.

Expecting another below average king salmon run and a slate of early season closures, fishery managers circled up with Kuskokwim fishermen Thursday, in Bethel, to set in motion preparations for a tough season ahead.

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Fresh Kuskokwim salmon. Photo by KYUK.

Fresh Kuskokwim salmon. Photo by KYUK.

The Federal Subsistence Board will decide next month whether to limit salmon fishing to local residents on the Kuskokwim and Yukon Rivers. The limitation will apply only on federal lands, like the Yukon Delta Refuge, which encompasses the Kuskokwim below Aniak. They can also delegate the day-to-day management to federal staff and make a strategy for allocating the limited salmon.
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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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Greg Roczicka provides input about a new process for determining rural communities. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

Greg Roczicka provides input about a new process for determining rural communities. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

The Federal Subsistence Board is working to define “rural”. That’s critical for deciding who is eligible for the federal rural subsistence priority for taking fish and game on federal lands.
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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 voted Wednesday to allow dipnets as a gear option for federal managers. Fishermen last summer used dipnets for the first time on the Kuskokwim River when state managers opened the fishery by emergency order in June. Dipnets are a permanent gear option for state-run fisheries. The board is meeting in Anchorage.
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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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