2021 Yukon River Salmon Fall Fishery Announcement # 18 Fall Update # 6, Yukon Area Salmon Fishery Districts Affected: Yukon Area

The Yukon River fall chum and coho salmon runs are projecting to be the lowest on record (1974–2020), see Figures 1 and 2. The fall chum salmon run is projected to be 93,000 fish compared to a historical run size of 868,000 fish based on median timing. The coho salmon run size is projected to be 32,000-36,000 fish, based on median and late timing, compared to a historical average run index of 240,000 fish. Both the fall chum and coho salmon runs are past the third-quarter point at the mainstem Yukon River sonar project operated near Pilot Station. According to the Fall Chum Salmon Management Plan, the inseason projection does not meet the threshold of 300,000 fish needed to allow subsistence, personal use or commercial fishing. A run of this size is unlikely to meet the drainagewide escapement goal of 300,000-600,000 fall chum salmon, tributary escapement goals and Canadian treaty objectives.

Last edited 09/01/2021
Contact Information

Christy Gleason, Acting Area Management Biologist

Bonnie Borba, Fall Season Research Biologist

(907) 949-1320

Toll free fishing schedule and counts: (866) 479-7387

In Fairbanks fishing schedule hotline: 459-7387

Fall chum salmon typically take 39 days to migrate from the mouth of the Yukon River to the U.S./Canada border, using an estimated travel rate of 35 miles per day. The first group of fall season chum salmon entered the river on July 16 and is expected to be approaching the U.S./Canada border currently. The second group of fish are expected to approach the U.S./Canada border around September 6. The third group of fish are expected to approach Fort Yukon around September 5 and the U.S./Canada border around September 15. A fourth group entered the river August 22 and are expected to be approaching Galena on September 5, Tanana/Huslia on September 6, Nenana around September 17, Fort Yukon by September 20, and the U.S./Canada border around September 30. Monitored lower Yukon River and tributary water levels and water temperature are near average which should not adversely affect the migration of fall chum and coho salmon. The upper Yukon mainstem river systems in Canada are currently running extremely high for this time of year and may delay migration in Canada.

Coho salmon typically enter the Yukon River in mid-August with the bulk of the run occurring between August 13 and 25 in the Lower Yukon Test Fishery (LYTF). Coho salmon have been weak and since more than half of the fish have entered the river after August 23, the run is exhibiting late run timing (Figure 2). Coho salmon are smaller fish than fall chum salmon and typically travel about 30 miles per day.

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