With the Kuskokwim River’s king salmon fishery already shut down until July 25, the Kuskokwim-Yukon Delta’s chum counts are also in dire shape. Here’s more from KYUK:
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) announced on June 21 that this summer has seen the lowest ever summer chum runs as of this date on the Yukon River. That’s according to a sonar at Pilot Station. The sonar has counted 843 summer chum salmon, which ADF&G said is below the median of 1,737 fish as of June 21. The department said that Chinook counts are well below average too. On the Kuskokwim, ADF&G said that this year’s chum run is tracking nearly identically to last year’s record lows.
On June 21, residents along the Yukon River gathered on a weekly teleconference where residents and managers discuss salmon. Basil Larson, a fisherman in Russian Mission, said that fish camps are looking even more neglected this year than last year.
“At all the fish camps, you know, grasses are growing in,” said Larson.
State and federal managers have closed the entire lower Yukon River to Chinook and chum fishing. Larson said that many residents aren’t interested in non-salmon species.