Saturday, May 18, 2013
Yukon River Subsistence Fisheries Limited to Protect Migrating King Salmon
Managers are limiting subsistence fishing time for salmon as the main king run passes through the upper Yukon River before entering Canada.
FAIRBANKS - Managers are limiting subsistence fishing time for salmon as the main king run passes through the upper Yukon River before entering Canada.
According to a news release from state and federal managers Friday, the Yukon River has been divided into three sections from the lower reaches of the Yukon Flats upstream to the border with Canada — the area known as Y-5 Subdistrict D. Subsistence fishing in this subdistrict will be closed in a staggered sequence “to protect chinook salmon as they migrate upriver.”
The king, or chinook, salmon run is weak this year. An estimate based on sonar counts at Pilot Station on the lower Yukon puts the run through July 14 at 103,000 fish, compared to an average of 155,000 for the same date.
Data from a test wheel at The Rapids on the Yukon, located in the Rampart canyon downriver from the Yukon Flats, showed two pulses of kings have moved through. The first passed July 1-5 and the second passed July 7-11.
Fishing in the lower section of Y-5 Subdistrict D (from the marker near Waldron Creek upstream to the Hadweenzic River) is open and will remain so until further notice. The area includes Stevens Village and Beaver.
The middle section and its tributaries, from the Hadweenzic River to 22 Mile Slough near Circle, is closed and will reopen Sunday at 6 p.m. The section includes Venetie, Fort Yukon and Chalkyitsik.
The upper section, from 22 Mile Slough to the border, is closed and will also open Sunday at 6 p.m. The subdistrict includes Circle and Eagle.
Fishermen also should expect an additional closure, according to the news release.
During salmon closures, fishermen cannot use fishwheels or gillnets with mesh greater than four inches or a length greater than 60 feet.
More information is available by calling 1-866-479-7387 outside Fairbanks or 459-7387 in Fairbanks.