Division of Sport Fish
Tom Taube, Acting Director

Anchorage Headquarters Office
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, AK 99518

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Doug Vincent-Lang, Commissioner

P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526

Advisory Announcement
(Released: March 29, 2023 - Expires: December 31, 2023)

CONTACT: John Chythlook
Area Management Biologist
(907) 459-7361

Kuskokwim-Goodnews Chum Salmon Sport Fishery Closed

(Fairbanks) – To protect chum salmon in periods of low abundance and provide future sport fishing opportunities, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is closing the entire Kuskokwim–Goodnews Area to sport fishing for chum salmon, effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, April 5, 2023. This area includes the Kuskokwim River and the Kuskokwim Bay drainages such as the Kanektok, Goodnews, and Arolik Rivers. This closure prohibits all sport fishing for chum salmon, including catch-and-release fishing. All chum salmon caught incidentally while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately. A previous management action for king salmon allows only unbaited, single-hook, artificial lures to be used in the entire Kuskokwim-Goodnews Area.

Catch rates for chum salmon at the Bethel Test Fishery have been chronically low for many years. The 2021 test fishery catch was the lowest on record, with 2022 not far behind. Indications are that the 2023 Kuskokwim River chum salmon run will be similar to the previous two years. Therefore, a sport fishing closure in the Kuskokwim–Goodnews Area is warranted to ensure escapement.

The department will closely monitor run strength of chum salmon. If inseason stock assessment information indicates that most of the chum salmon escapement goals in the Kuskokwim River and Kuskokwim Bay tributaries will be met, restrictions may be relaxed.

For additional information contact John Chythlook, Kuskokwim-Goodnews Area Management Biologist at 907-459-7361 or john.chythlook@alaska.gov.