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 - Expired: September 30, 2023)

CONTACT: Lisa Stuby
Area Management Biologist
(907) 459-7202

Yukon River Drainage Closed to Sport Fishing for King Salmon

(Fairbanks) – To protect king salmon during periods of low abundance, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is closing the Yukon River drainage (excluding the Tanana River drainage) to sport fishing for king salmon, effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, April 5, 2023. This closure prohibits all sport fishing for king salmon, including catch-and-release fishing. In addition, when fishing for other species anglers may not use bait in Yukon River tributaries. All king salmon caught incidentally while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

King salmon runs throughout western Alaska continue to be poor. The 2023 preseason forecast is for a total Yukon River drainage run size of 62,000–104,000 king salmon. A run of this size is not expected to meet escapement goals for spawning, will require reduced subsistence fishing opportunity, and will likely result in a failure to achieve treaty obligations for Canadian-origin king salmon. Therefore, a preseason closure of sport fishing for king salmon in the Yukon River drainage is warranted. Prohibiting bait within tributaries is also a conservative measure to reduce the chance of king salmon being caught while fishing for other species. If inseason stock assessment information indicates that king salmon escapement goals and subsistence needs in the Yukon River drainage will be met, sport fishing restrictions may be relaxed commensurate with run strength.

For additional information contact Lisa Stuby, Yukon Area Management Biologist at 907-459-7202 or lisa.stuby@alaska.gov.