Federal public waters of the Kuskokwim River will be opened for three 12 Hour Gillnet opportunities on June 12, 15, 18, 2020 to the Harvest of Chinook Salmon by Federally Qualified Subsistence Users

This emergency special action announces three 12-hour harvest opportunities for 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, to the use of gillnets for the harvest of Chinook Salmon on Federal public waters of the Kuskokwim River main stem, except for the section referred to as the Aniak Box (see 3-KS-01-20 or regulatory language below for description), on June 12, June 15, and June 18, 2020. The start time and end time for each of these three opportunities are from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Last edited 01/25/2022
Contact Information

This action was made after coordination with the Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (KRITFC), Western Interior Alaska Regional Advisory Council (RAC), Yukon Kuskokwim Delta RAC, Kuskokwim River Salmon Management Working Group (KRSMWG), and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G). All parties agreed to openings starting on June 12, 15, and 18. KRITFC recommended 12-hour openers from 6 AM to 6 PM (36 hours of total opportunity). KRSMWG recommended to ADF&G that three 24-hour opportunities were acceptable (72 hours of total opportunity) at their meeting on May 5, 2020. The perspectives of the Chairs of the Western Interior RAC and Yukon Kuskokwim RAC have been considered on these discussions.

Salmon tributaries of the Kuskokwim River within the boundaries of the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, including the Eek, Kwethluk, 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 set or drift 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.

Other means and methods (rod and reel, dipnets, fish wheels, and beach seines) remain open to harvest of Chinook Salmon in the mainstem Kuskokwim River.

When each of these 12-hour harvest opportunities expire, Federal public waters of the Kuskokwim River, identified in Federal Special Action 3-KS-01-20 and issued on May 15, 2020, will remain closed to the harvest of Chinook Salmon with gillnets by Federally qualified subsistence users. For Federally Qualified Subsistence Users on the main Kuskokwim River, fishing with dipnets, beach seines, fish wheels, and hook and line will remain open with retention of Chinook salmon.

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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