(Released: April 05, 2017 - Expired: July 25, 2017)
Division of Sport Fish
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Contact: John Chythlook, Kuskokwim Area Management Biologist
The Division of Sport Fish is closing the entire Kuskokwim River drainage (including all tributaries) to sport fishing for king salmon, effective 12:01 a.m. Monday, May 1, 2017. All king salmon caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately. In addition, anglers may use only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure in the Kuskokwim River drainage. These restrictions will remain in effect through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, July 25, 2017.
Preseason projections suggest that the Kuskokwim River king salmon run in 2017 may be similar to 2016 when the Kuskokwim River experienced an estimated total run of approximately 176,000 and spawning escapement of approximately 145,000 fish. In 2016, the drainagewide escapement goal exceeded the upper bound of 120,000 king salmon, however, this was largely due to long term closures of the subsistence fishery. Restrictions to the subsistence king salmon fishery are expected again in 2017.
The anticipated closure of the subsistence fishery on the Kuskokwim River warrants a total closure of sport fishing for king salmon in the Kuskokwim River drainage and the prohibition of bait and multiple hooks. If inseason stock assessment information indicates that a majority of the king salmon escapement goals and subsistence needs in the Kuskokwim River drainage will be met, restrictions may be relaxed.
For additional information contact John Chythlook, Kuskokwim-Goodnews Area Management Biologist, 907-459-7361.