Yukon River closed to harvest of salmon except by Federally qualified subsistence users

The Federal Subsistence Board (Board) met in public by teleconference on May 4, 2022 and adopted Temporary Special Action FSA22-01 for conservation purposes. Specifically, the Board closed Federal public waters of the Yukon Northern Area to the harvest of Chinook, summer and fall Chum, and Coho salmon except by Federally qualified subsistence users, effective June 1, 2022, through September 30, 2022, with harvest opportunities to be determined by the Federal fisheries manager if fisheries run strength is sufficient to allow a Federal subsistence fishery.

Federal public waters of the Yukon Northern Area include all navigable and non-navigable freshwaters located within and adjacent to the exterior boundaries of National Wildlife Refuges, National Parks and Preserves, and National Conservation Areas, as well as those segments of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers system located outside the boundaries of other listed Federal conservation units. Federal public waters also include all freshwaters flowing into the Bering Sea between the latitude of Point Romanof and the latitude of the westernmost point of the Naskonat Peninsula within the external boundaries of the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge.

The Board stated that Yukon River drainage salmon runs have recently been some of the worst on record, which resulted in closures and restrictions to salmon harvest the past four years. The 2022 run and harvest outlook is expected to be poor for all Yukon River salmon species and closures to the harvest of salmon by non-Federally qualified users on Federal public waters is necessary until in- season assessments may indicate otherwise. This action is necessary for the conservation of fish resources in Federal public waters. It also provides a priority for non-wasteful subsistence uses as required by Title VIII of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.

The Board has delegated in-season management authority to the Federal fisheries manager. If fisheries run abundance is sufficient to allow for Federal subsistence harvest, the Federal fisheries manager will issue emergency special actions announcing season schedules, openings, closures and fishing methods. The Board took no action on Temporary Special Action Requests FSA22-02, -03, and -04 based on the adoption of FSA22-01.

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.

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