Closure Still In Effect For Kuskokwim River King Salmon Fishery

The following is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

(Fairbanks) – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game – Division of Sport Fish is extending the closure to sport fishing for king salmon for the entire Kuskokwim River drainage (including all tributaries) through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 25, 2021. This does not include Kuskokwim Bay drainages. 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.

The pre-season forecast of 94,000–155,000 king salmon suggests that the Kuskokwim River king salmon run in 2021 may be similar to 2020 when the Kuskokwim River experienced an estimated total run of approximately 124,486 and spawning escapement of approximately 88,285 fish. In 2020, the drainage wide escapement goal (65,000–120,000 king salmon) was attained; however, there were substantial closures of the subsistence fishery. Similar to 2020, restrictions to the subsistence king salmon fishery have been enacted in 2021. Neither the Bethel Test Fish and the Kuskokwim River Sonar projects have seen a large number of king salmon at this time, though it is early in the season.

The current restrictions of the subsistence salmon fishery on the Kuskokwim River warrant continuing the closure of sport fishing for king salmon in the Kuskokwim River drainage and the prohibition of bait and multiple hooks during the king salmon run. If in-season 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.