Kuskokwim River Federal Public Waters Opening To Harvest of Chinook and Chum Salmon by Federally Qualified Subsistence Users

In consultation with the Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (KRITFC) and the State of Alaska, the Federal In-season Manager will open Federal public waters of the main-stem Kuskokwim River within the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge boundary to the harvest of Chinook and chum salmon by Federally qualified subsistence users for 24 hours, effective 12:01 p.m. (noon) on Thursday, June 16, 2016 to 11:59 a.m. (noon) on Friday, June 17, 2016. During this period all fish caught with legal gear as identified in the federal subsistence regulations and gill net restrictions below may be retained.

Last edited 06/15/2016
Contact Information

Contact: Vernon “Ray” Born
(907) 543-3151 or (800)621-5804

Approved gill nets include drift and set gill nets with the following restrictions:

  • 6-inch or less mesh;
  • May not exceed 45 meshes in depth;
  • No longer than 25 fathoms (150 feet) above the Johnson River to the border of the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge at Aniak; and
  • No longer than 50 fathoms (300 feet) below the Johnson River to the mouth of the Kuskokwim River.

This opportunity is based on the need to conserve a lower than average Chinook salmon run and a potentially poor chum salmon run. While the Chinook salmon run is expected to be smaller than average, managers feel that it is strong enough to allow limited, directed opportunities for Federally qualified subsistence users. The first harvest opportunity consisted of a 12-hour opening on June 12, and an estimated 3,100 – 5,100 Chinook salmon were harvested by Federally qualified subsistence users within federal waters. The longer opener will provide additional opportunity for Federally qualified subsistence users to harvest Chinook and chum salmon while addressing conservation concerns.

Please report your harvest to your KRITFC commissioner to ensure that salmon harvest needs are met now and in the future.
On June 1, the Federal Subsistence Board closed Federal public waters of the Kuskokwim River drainage to the harvest of Chinook and chum salmon except by Federally qualified subsistence users identified in the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, Section 804 Subsistence User Prioritization analysis. Federally qualified subsistence users will include residents of the Kuskokwim River drainage and the villages of Chefornak, Kipnuk, Kwigillingok, and Kongiganek. Federal Special Action 3-KS-03-16 to restrict the use of gillnets for the Eek, Kwethluk, Kasigluk, Kisaralik, Tuluksak, and Aniak rivers, issued on June 10, 2016, remains in effect for Federal public waters within those salmon tributaries.

This limited opportunity has been implemented by Federal Emergency Special Action (3-KS-04-16) under the delegated authority of the Federal Subsistence Board.

Access up-to-date information on fishing opportunities by calling 907-543-1037 or visit the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page or website. Questions? call the Refuge at (907) 543-3151 or at (800) 621-5804.

View full news release

View Federal Emergency Special Action 3-KS-04-16


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