Monday June 13, 2022


Salmon fishing has begun, and the Kuskokwim River Salmon Management Working Group met for the first time this season to advise state fishery managers. The group is made up of fishing managers and stakeholders on the river. It votes on management actions it would like to see on the river and provides its recommendations to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The group had its first meeting of the summer season on June 8. It unanimously passed one recommendation: to open gillnet fishing in the upper Kuskokwim River from Aniak upstream to the headwaters. The recommendation came from Nick Smith, the lead area biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Smith said that since the upper river caught so few Chinook last year with more limited gear, he wanted to give river residents greater harvest opportunity by opening it up to gillnets. Smith made another recommendation too. He said that he does not approve of the next two federally announced subsistence openings in the lower river, from the mouth upstream to Aniak. The area has two drift net subsistence openings next week: on Sunday, June 12 and on Thursday, June 16.

“I don’t support these fishing periods being so close together and will not be issuing any mirrored fishing periods,” said Smith.

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