July 14 ADF&G News Release – Some Restrictions Still In Place & Others Lifted

Here is a partial News Release covering restrictions still in place for Sections 3 through 5 (From Tuluksak on upstream beyond McGrath).  The entire News Release can be found at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/home/news/pdfs/newsreleases/cf/175985323.pdf.

Note that in Section 5 above Sleetmute rod and reel can now be used for king salmon with a daily limit of 3 per person.

Tuluksak to Chuathbaluk: Section 3

Subsistence salmon fishing is currently restricted to the use of gillnets with 6-inch or less mesh not exceeding 50-fathoms in length until 11:59 p.m., Sunday, July 22, 2012. Effective 12:00 a.m., Monday, July 23, 2012 subsistence salmon fishing with gillnets is open to unrestricted mesh size and Chinook salmon fishing with hook and line gear is open. Additionally, a fish wheel used to take fish is NOT required to have a livebox.

This area is defined as that portion of the Kuskokwim River and its tributaries upstream from a line between ADF&G regulatory markers located approximately half a mile upstream of the Tuluksak River mouth to a line between ADF&G regulatory markers located at the downstream edge of Chuathbaluk. This section does NOT include the slough (locally known as Utak Slough) on the northwest side of the Kuskokwim River adjacent to the Tuluksak River mouth. Subsistence Chinook salmon fishing in the Aniak River remains closed. Excluded waters are non-salmon spawning tributaries: the Whitefish Lake drainage near Aniak and those portions of Discovery, Birch, and Swift creeks more than 100 yards upstream from the mouth of these rivers, are open with any mesh size gillnet and are not affected by these closures.

Chuathbaluk to the Holitna River mouth: Section 4

Currently subsistence salmon fishing is restricted to the use of gillnets with 6-inch or less mesh not exceeding 50-fathoms in length. Additionally, a fish wheel used to take fish must be equipped with a livebox that contains no less than 45 cubic feet of water volume while in operation. The livebox must be checked at least once every six hours while in operation and all Chinook salmon must be returned to the water alive. Chinook salmon fishing with hook and line gear remains closed.

The Department will continue to monitor escapements to determine when restrictions will be lifted in Section 4 and will make an announcement when that decision has been made.

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This area is defined as that portion of the Kuskokwim River and its tributaries upstream from a line between ADF&G regulatory markers located at the downstream edge of Chuathbaluk to a line between ADF&G regulatory markers located downstream of the Holitna River mouth. Subsistence Chinook salmon fishing remains closed on the mainstem Kuskokwim River between ADF&G regulatory markers located at the mouth of George River to ADF&G regulatory markers located approximately half a mile downstream of George River.

The Holitna River mouth to the Headwaters of the Kuskokwim River: Section 5

Effective 12:00 a.m., Monday, July 16, 2012 subsistence salmon fishing is restricted to the use of gillnets with 6-inch or less mesh not exceeding 50-fathoms in length. Subsistence Chinook salmon fishing with hook and line gear is open with a daily bag limit of 3 and no possession, season, or size limits. Additionally, a fish wheel used to take fish is NOT required to have a livebox.

The Department will continue to monitor escapements to determine when restrictions will be lifted in Section 5 and will make an announcement when that decision has been made.

This area is defined as that portion of the Kuskokwim River and its tributaries upstream from a line between ADF&G regulatory markers located downstream of the Holitna River mouth upstream to the headwaters of the Kuskokwim River.

Run Assessment

Based on the Bethel Test Fishery the Chinook salmon run is nearing the end in the lower Kuskokwim River. The sockeye salmon abundance has also been declining over the past week. Chum salmon abundance has declined slightly in the past three days.

Further announcements will be made from the Bethel Fish and Game office and through local radio stations. News releases will be faxed to area villages and local fish processing companies.

For additional information concerning this news release: ADF&G: Travis Elison in Bethel 907-543-2433 USFWS: Gene Peltola in Bethel 907-543-3151

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