2021 Yukon River Salmon Summer Fishery Announcement #1 Yukon River Salmon Fisheries Outlook

Districts Affected: Yukon Area

The drainage-wide Chinook salmon outlook is for a run size of 102,000 to 189,000 fish. The 2021 run may be as small as 2012 and 2013; despite very restricted fishing in those years, the Canadian Chinook salmon escapement objective was not met. Because of the poor projected run size, front end closures are required until inseason run strength estimates indicate a harvestable surplus beyond escapement needs. This will likely require closures through the midpoint of the run.

Last edited 01/25/2022
Contact Information

Deena Jallen, Area Management Biologist

(907) 459-7309

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

In Fairbanks fishing schedule hotline: 459-7387

ADF&G staff have worked closely with USFWS research and management staff to develop the management strategy. Feedback has been sought from stakeholders, agency staff and leadership, and this strategy has been discussed in depth at the following meetings: Yukon River Panel, Yukon River Intertribal Fish Commission (YRITFC) preseason meeting; and Yukon River Drainage Fishermen’s Association (YRDFA) Board meeting and Public preseason fishermen’s meeting.


Note: Total run size uses the post-season Pilot Station passage estimate and includes estimated escapement and harvest below the sonar. The 2021 bar represents the approximate midpoint of the preseason run outlook range of 102,000 to 189,000 Chinook salmon. The dashed line is the recent 10-year average run size of ~ 187,000 Chinook salmon.

2021 Run and Harvest Outlook for Yukon River Salmon

Table showing 2021 Run and Harvest Outlook for Yukon River Salmon (Chinook, Summer chum, Fall chum, and Coho)

*Summer chum salmon harvests may be limited by the need to conserve Chinook salmon.** Fall chum salmon projection and the amount available for commercial harvest will be revised in early July based on summer chum salmon run size.

Management Strategies based on the preseason outlooks and inseason assessment:

  • As Chinook salmon enter the Coastal Area and each district and tributary, subsistence salmon fishing will be closed. This closure may be weeks long until the midpoint of the Chinook salmon run is assessed at Pilot Station sonar (likely around June 23). If inseason assessment indicates a run closer to the lower end of the outlook, subsistence fishing for Chinook salmon will remain closed.
  • The sport fishery for Chinook salmon will begin the season closed (effective May 10) throughout the U.S. portion of the Yukon River drainage, excluding the Tanana River drainage. Chinook salmon may not be retained or possessed. Management actions for the Tanana River drainage will be announced in early June.
  • Subsistence fishing for summer chum salmon will be opened with selective gear (dip nets, beach seines, fish wheels) once summer chum salmon become more abundant.
  • If confidence is high that the Chinook salmon run is near the upper end of the outlook, and escapement goals are likely to be met, some subsistence fishing opportunities (on reduced fishing schedules) with gillnets may be allowed. For most districts and areas, gillnets will be restricted to 6-inch or smaller mesh.
  • Fishing for non-salmon species with 4-inch or smaller mesh gill nets will be allowed during salmon fishing closures; however, net length will be reduced to a maximum of 60 feet at the start of the season. If there are indications that salmon are being targeted with this gear, or it is determined that there is no harvestable surplus of Chinook salmon, this gear may be discontinued.
  • When the summer chum salmon run is projected to meet the drainagewide escapement goal, commercial fishing for summer chum salmon may begin with selective gear (dip nets and beach seine with all Chinook released alive) Openings in District 1 and 2 will be dependent on processor capacity.


Please call the toll-free Fishing schedule and fish counts hotline: (866) 479-7387; in Fairbanks: (907) 459- 7387.

The ADF&G Emmonak field office will be open during regular hours; Mondays to Fridays 8 am to 5 pm, Saturdays 1 pm to 5 pm. Closed on Sundays. ADF&G Emmonak office: (907) 949-1320.

ADF&G: Summer Season Area Manager, Deena Jallen; Fall Season Area Manager, Jeff Estensen. ADF&G Fairbanks office: (907) 459-7274.

The Emmonak USFWS field office will be closed. To speak with the USFWS Yukon River Subsistence manager, Holly Carroll: call 907-351-3029

Announcements and daily test fishery counts will be posted on Facebook:


For commercial fishery permit questions please see the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission website here: www.cfec.state.ak.us/

Assessment project and management updates will be given on the YRDFA weekly teleconferences. Join us Tuesday, June 1, at 1:00 pm. Call in number: 1-800-315-6338, Passcode: 98566#.

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