by USFWS Staff
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 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 12, 2018 from 10:00 AM until 10:00 PM.
Salmon tributaries of the Kuskokwim within the boundaries of the Refuge, including the Eek, Kwethluk, Kasigluk, Kisaralik, Tuluksak, and Aniak rivers will remain closed to fishing for Chinook Salmon, as will the Old Kuskokuak where the Kisaralik and Kasigluk drain and the Kuskokuak between the lower confluence with the Kuskokwim River and the confluence with the Kwethluk River. This is to protect Chinook bound for the Kwethluk, 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.
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 run is expected to be smaller than average, it is strong enough to allow this limited opportunity for the first directed Chinook Salmon harvest for Federally qualified subsistence users.
This limited opportunity has been implemented by Federal Emergency Special Action (3-KS-04-18) 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.
This news release was issued on June 7, 2018.