Report: Yukon River Not Expected To Open For Subsistence Coho, Chum Fishing

It’s been a frustrating summer for Alaska sport and subsistence fishing, especially with so many fisheries, including several rivers, closing to king salmon fishing opportunities. In the Yukon River, KTOO radio reports – via KYUK – that the state isn’t likely to open the Yukon River to subsistence opportunities for cohos and chums. Here are some details:

An estimated three quarters of the fall chum salmon run is past the lower river. As of Aug. 21, the state-run sonar at Pilot Station counted 194,000 fall chum. That’s compared to a historical medium of 486,000 fall chum by that date.

The fall chum that have returned are slightly older than the historical average and with slightly fewer females than the historical average. The fish are also smaller, measuring 26 millimeters less than their historical average length.

The Yukon River coho salmon run is also far below its average run size but coming in higher numbers than last year’s record low. The Pilot Station sonar has counted 43,000 coho, compared to a historical average of 73,000 by this time.