During its work session held on Wednesday, July 30, 2014, the Federal Subsistence Board discussed the six special actions it received asking to ensure reasonable opportunity and priority use of subsistence resources and exert Federal jurisdiction for fisheries management on the Kuskokwim River for the remainder of the 2014 fishing season.
The Board stated that the petitioners have clearly expressed their concerns and interests in being able to meet their subsistence needs.
Speaking for the Board, Geoffrey L. Haskett, Regional Director for the US Fish and Wildlife Service stated, “I would like to recognize the collective efforts by lower river and upper river residents to conserve Chinook salmon runs this season so that they will be available for future generations. We know that the sacrifices that have been made have been extremely difficult and that it is very critical that all people along both the lower river and upper river be given every opportunity to meet their subsistence needs.”
Mr. Haskett went on to “…thank the State for suspending commercial fishing in the Kuskokwim River and that they are managing for coho salmon escapement goals, subsistence priority, and to allow for other uses when there is a surplus. I appreciate that the State is managing the coho salmon runs with the expectations that the subsistence harvest will be larger than average because of the conservation actions taken in June for Chinook salmon."
The Board agreed that they will continue to closely monitor the situation on the Kuskokwim River and if conditions change, the Board will take action quickly to ensure that a priority for subsistence users is provided and protected.
Additional information on the Federal Subsistence Management Program may be found at http://www.doi.gov/subsistence/index.cfm