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

Advisory Announcement
(Released: June 29, 2021 - Expired: December 31, 2021)

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

Kuskokwim River Chum Salmon Sport Fishery Closed

(Fairbanks) - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is closing the entire Kuskokwim River drainage to sport fishing for chum salmon, effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday, July 1, 2021. 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. In addition, only unbaited, single-hook, artificial lures may be used in the entire Kuskokwim River drainage.

The cumulative CPUE for chum salmon at the Bethel Test Fishery is the lowest on record since 2008. As of 6/27, only 1,900 chum salmon have been counted on the sonar located near Bethel. On average, 24% of the chum salmon run has passed Bethel as of June 28. The chum salmon run in the Kuskokwim River appears weak. Therefore, the closure of sport fishing in the Kuskokwim River drainage is warranted to ensure escapement.

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

For additional information contact John Chythlook, Kuskokwim-Goodnews Area Management Biologist, 907-459-7361