2019 Yukon River Summer News Release #44 District 1 Whitefish Commercial Fishery

Districts Affected: Lower Yukon Area

The Department is announcing an extension to the commercial whitefish fishery. Typically, whitefish are commercially harvested starting in September. At the request of the processor, commercial fishing for whitefish will begin in August. The timing of the fishery this year is experimental, to see if some harvest can occur during lulls in salmon passage. Fishermen must have a 2019 F04B (Fresh Water Fish Set gillnet) permit to participate in the commercial whitefish fishery. The 2019 harvest quota for whitefish (Bering and least cisco) is 35,000 fish. Due to the shore-based nature of fishing for whitefish, longer fishing periods are required in order to catch fish on tides. Therefore, commercial whitefish fishing will be conducted concurrent with subsistence fishing openings but will be closed during commercial salmon periods.

Last edited 01/25/2022
Contact Information

Jeff Estensen, Area Management Biologist 

Lower Yukon Area Office

(907) 459-7217 (Fairbanks)   

Emmonak, Alaska Phone: (907) 949-1320

Toll free fishing schedule hotline: (866) 479-7387

Effective August 19, commercial fishing for whitefish will be allowed during subsistence openings in District 1 and will be closed before, during, and after commercial salmon periods.

Commercial fishermen must coordinate with the buyer before fishing to find out when and where the processor is buying whitefish.

F04B permit holders may use a gillnet of 4-inch or smaller mesh, up to 150 feet (25 fathoms) long or one hand line/hook and line. Salmon and other species such as sheefish or burbot caught in commercial whitefish gear may be retained for personal use and must be recorded on a fish ticket as caught but not sold.

Closed waters of Apoon Mouth and Pastolik and Pastoliak Rivers:

Designated waters near Kotlik are closed to commercial whitefish fishing to protect traditional subsistence harvests. Waters of Apoon Pass, from its confluence with Chaniliut Slough extending to the northern shoreline of the Apoon Mouth, are closed to commercial whitefish fishing. This area includes Chaniliut Slough and waters draining the northern shoreline of the Apoon Mouth, including the Pastolik and Pastoliak Rivers (see map on next page).

The Pastolik and Pastoliak rivers, including 500 yards around their mouths, are closed to all commercial fishing. As a reminder, subsistence fishing with gillnets, including gillnets with 4-inch mesh or less, is closed in these waters 12 hours before, during, and 12 hours after each salmon commercial opening.

Please also call the toll-free hotline (866) 479-7387 for the subsistence fishing schedule, which can change with short notice due to commercial salmon openings.


This is an announcement by the ADF&G in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. To reach the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Fairbanks call 456-0406.

News releases, test fish catches, and sonar counts are also available on Facebook: www.facebook.com/YukonRiverFishingADFG/

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