Federal public waters of the Kuskokwim River will be opened for 12 Hours on June 22 to the use of gillnets for the Harvest of Chinook Salmon by Federally Qualified Subsistence Users

In consultation with the Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the Federal In-season Manager announces the opening of the Federal public waters of the Kuskokwim River main-stem within the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge boundary to the use of gillnets for the harvest of Chinook Salmon by Federally qualified subsistence users identified in the Section 804 subsistence user prioritization analysis, which includes residents of the Kuskokwim River drainage and the villages of Chefornak, Kipnuk, Kwigillingok, and Kongiganak, for 12 hours effective June 22, 2019 from 06:00 AM until 06:00 PM.

Last edited 01/25/2022
Contact Information

Ray Born

(907) 543-3151 or (800) 621-5804


Salmon tributaries of the Kuskokwim within the boundaries of the Refuge, including the Eek, Kwethluk (starting at its confluence with the Kuskokuak Slough), Kasigluk, Kisaralik, Tuluksak, and Aniak rivers will remain closed to fishing for Chinook Salmon, as will the Aniak Box and the Old Kuskokuak Slough where the Kisaralik and Kasigluk drain (to protect Chinook bound for the Kasigluk and Kisaralik Rivers).

When using gillnets, the following restrictions apply:

  • 6-inch or less mesh;
  • May not exceed 45 meshes in depth;
  • May not exceed 25 fathoms (150 feet) in length above the Johnson River to the boundary of the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge at Aniak;
  • May not exceed 50 fathoms (300 feet) in length below the Johnson River to the mouth of the Kuskokwim River.

As a reminder the following restrictions remain in effect for Kuskokwim Area Subsistence fishing:

  • You may not obstruct a steam by more than one-half of its width.
  • Kegs, buoys, stakes, unattended gear must be marked with your first initial, last name, and address plainly and legibly on each keg, buoy, and any other unattended fishing gear you use to take fish for subsistence uses.
  • In the Kuskokwim River tributaries, you must attach each subsistence gillnet to the bank. Your net should be substantially perpendicular to the bank and in a straight line.
  • When subsistence fishing for salmon, you may not use an aggregate length of set or drift gillnets in excess of 50 fathoms (300 feet).

This harvest opportunity is to provide for the continuation of subsistence uses of Chinook Salmon that are critical to cultural and traditional needs. While the Chinook Salmon run is expected to be smaller than the historical average, it is strong enough to allow this limited opportunity for a directed harvest for Federally qualified subsistence users.

This limited opportunity has been implemented by Federal Emergency Special Action (3-KS-08-19) under the delegated authority of the Federal Subsistence Board.

Access up-to-date information on fishing opportunities by calling 907-543-1008 or visit the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page or www.fws.gov/refuge/yukon_delta/. Questions? call the Refuge at (907) 543-3151 or at (800) 621-5804.

Additional information on the Federal Subsistence Management Program may be found on the web at www.doi.gov/subsistence or by visiting www.facebook.com/subsistencealaska.

Missing out on the latest Federal subsistence issues? If you’d like to receive emails and notifications on the Federal Subsistence Management Program you may subscribe for regular updates by emailing fws-fsb-subsistence-request@lists.fws.gov.

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