State Closing Buskin River To Sockeye Sport Fishing

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

Buskin River Closed to Sport Fishing for Sockeye Salmon

(Kodiak) – In favor of protecting returning sockeye salmon and ensuring fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is closing sport fishing for sockeye salmon in the Buskin River drainage effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, June 17 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, December 31, 2023. This closure prohibits sport fishing for sockeye salmon, including catch-and-release. During the closure, sockeye salmon may not be targeted, possessed, or retained; sockeye salmon that are caught incidentally while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

“Through June 13, only 276 sockeye salmon have been counted through the Buskin River weir at the outlet of Buskin Lake and there are not many fish holding in the river or nearshore areas at the mouth,” stated Area Management Biologist Tyler Polum. “The most recent 10-year average count for this date is about 2,900 sockeye salmon, which typically accounts for about 32% of the run, with the run expected to be at its peak in the coming week. It’s warranted to close the sport fishery to attempt to achieve the escapement goal.”

Sockeye salmon fishing opportunities may be restored in the Buskin River drainage by a subsequent emergency order if ADF&G weir counts improve and indicate the sockeye salmon escapement goal will be achieved.

For additional information, please contact Area Management Biologist Tyler Polum at
(907) 486-1880.