- Associated Press - Friday, June 3, 2016

BETHEL, Alaska (AP) - Only qualified subsistence users will be able to harvest chum and king salmon from the Kuskokwim River.

The Federal Subsistence Board has closed federal waters from Aniak to the mouth of the Kuskokwim to all gillnets under a state action, effective June 1, KYUK-AM reported (https://bit.ly/1O7vyQS).

The main stem of the Kuskokwim is already closed to all gillnets, so the additional restrictions mean only federally qualified users will be able to harvest chum and salmon once harvest season opens.

Federally qualified subsistence users are defined under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. Priority will depend on customary and direct dependence, local residency and the availability of alternative resources.

The regulatory board determined that the federal in-season manager will provide harvest opportunities for subsistence fisheries in consultation with the Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission.

After king and chum salmon make it to their spawning grounds, YK Delta Wildlife Refuge Manager Ray Born said federal managers will likely issue an opening. Born said federal managers expect a larger return of king salmon this year.

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Information from: KYUK-AM, https://www.kyuk.org


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