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Press Release



Special Action


3-KS-01-14


05/16/2014


Contact: Deborah Coble 
 (907) 786-3880 or (800) 478-1456 

 


SPECIAL ACTION
SUBSISTENCE FISHING
Under Authority of 50 CFR Part 100.10 and .19 36 CFR Part 242.10 and .19

Special Action No.: 3-KS-01-14 Issued at: Bethel, Alaska May 16,2014
Effective Date: May 20, 2014 12:01 a.m.
Expiration Date: July 18,2014 11:59 p.m. unless superseded by subsequent Special Action

EXPLANATION:
Federal public waters of the Kuskokwim River win be closed to fishing for king salmon to non-Federal
qualified users to provide for escapement.

REGULATION
50 CFR 100.27(e)(4)(ii) is amended to add:
Federal public waters in that portion of the Kuskokwim River drainage that are within and
adjacent to the exterior boundaries of the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge are closed to
the harvest of Chinook salmon except by the residents of the Kuskokwim River drainage and
the villages of Chefornak, Kipnuk, Kwigillingok and Kongiganek. Based on observed run
strength, and in consideration of conservation concerns and escapement goals, the Yukon
Delta National Wildlife Refuge Manager may open porti01lS of the drainage to the take of
Chinook salmon.

JUSTIFICATION
Biological
Since 2010, the Kuskokwim River has suffered from poor king salmon returns. 2013 was the
lowest return on record. The 2014 State of Alaska king salmon forecast is for a return of 94,000
Chinook (range of 71,000-117,000). The drainage-wide escapement goal is 65,000-1 20,000. If
1101 E Tudor Road, MS 121 Anchorage, Alaska 99503 (907) 786-3888/(800) 478-1456 Fax (907) 786-3898
the 2014 return is within the forecast, then there win be enough fish to meet escapement goals
and perhaps provide for a very limited king salmon subsistence harvest.
The majority of tributary escapement goals on rivers within the Kuskokwim drainage were not
met in 2013 and an weir assessment projects had the lowest Chinook counts on record. Given
consecutive years of low king salmon returns and a forecast that indicates a return barely
adequate to meet escapement needs, it win be necessary to impose strict conservation measures ..
In addition to the anticipated closure to Chinook harvest for non-subsistence users on Federal
public lands, severe chinook harvest restrictions to subsistence users are expected to be in place
for the 2014 season with little harvestable surplus available.

FEDERAL SUBSISTENCE BOARD