(Released: September 16, 2019 - Expired: December 31, 2019)

Division of Sport Fish
Dave Rutz, 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

Contact: Tyler Polum, Area Management Biologist
(907) 486-1880

Buskin River Closed to Coho Salmon Fishing

(Kodiak) - In an effort to achieve escapement goals, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is closing the Buskin River drainage to sport fishing for coho salmon effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, September 18 through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, December 31, 2019. Sport fishing for coho salmon on the Buskin River is closed and any coho salmon caught incidentally while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

“The Buskin River coho salmon stock has seen several years of lower returns than expected,” stated Area Management Biologist Tyler Polum. “As long as we’re in this period of low productivity, we need to manage conservatively to get coho salmon upriver to spawn.”

As of September 15, 2019, only 181 coho salmon have passed the Buskin River weir. The escapement goal for coho salmon into the Buskin River is 4,700 to 9,600 fish. Based on historical run timing, more than 50% of the run has occurred and ADF&G does not expect the final weir count to meet the escapement goal for this stock. Therefore, it is warranted to close the coho salmon sport fishery in an attempt to meet escapement objectives.

For additional information, please contact the Division of Sport Fish Kodiak Office at (907) 486-1880.