Friday, June 10, 2016

Ready the Nets!



Fishing opportunities of the Kuskokwim. 

From Aniak up to the Holitna
Subsistence fishing with 6-inch or less mesh gillnets*, not to exceed 25 fathoms, will be allowed for 48 hours from 12:00 p.m. noon, Sunday, June 12 until 12:00 p.m. noon, Tuesday, June 14, 2016.   

From the Holitna up to the Headwaters.
Subsistence fishing with 6-inch or less mesh gillnets* will be allowed from 12:00 p.m. noon, Sunday, June 12 until further notice.

Mouth of the Kuskokwim up to Aniak
12 hour fishing opportunity for federally qualified subsistence users for Chinook & Chum
Sunday, June 12, 2016 from 12:01 p.m. (noon) until 11:59 p.m. (midnight).
Gillnets* 6-inch mesh or less and up to 45 meshes deep.
From the Mouth to the Johnson River up to 50 fathoms (300ft)
Above the Johnson to Aniak: up to 25 fathoms (150ft). 

Gillnets are prohibited on the following tributaries:
Eek, Kwethluk, Kasigluk, Kisaralik, Tuluksak, and Aniak Rivers


Beginning at 12 noon Sunday, June 12: Any Chinook caught with any type of gear may be kept, until further notice.

*Gillnets can be set or used to drift.

We will keep updated with further opportunities and or restrictions as they unfold throughout the fishing season.


We are happy that people will be able to harvest some fresh fish and would still like to encourage conservation for all salmon, but especially the Kings. 

Here is a link to the full news release form ADF&G : http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/applications/dcfnewsrelease/666326825.pdf

Friday, May 27, 2016

5.27.16 Fishing Restrictions

We are still in a time of conservation.

The Kuskokwim River Salmon Management Working Group met yesterday. The only real action that came out of the meeting was a motion to support the Fish Commission’s recommendation for a 72 hour opening for 4” mesh set net on the main stem of the Kuskokwim prior to June 1. The motion passed, however, this was just to support the recommendation and does not in-fact open the river for fishing. It is nice to see all legs of the management stool sit down at the table and have meaningful dialogue regaurding our salmon.  Co-Management is key! 

Here’s a current review of restrictions in place.

Effective May 20, 2016 from the Mouth of the Kuskokwim up to the Holitna:

Subsistence fishing with gillnets is closed.

Subsistence fishing with gillnets is also closed on the following tributaries:
            Kwethluk River
            Kuskokuak Slough
            Kasigluk and Kisaralik Rivers
            Tuluksak River
            Aniak River
           
Subsistence fishing on the entire main stem, as well as all tributaries (including those listed above) is allowed with the following gear type: Hook and line, dip nets, beach seines, and fish wheels.  Fish wheels must have a live box, be checked at least every 6 hours. Wheels can be equipped with a chute but must be closely attended while in operation.  ANY CHINOOK CAUGHT WITH ANY OF THE MENTIONED GEAR MUST BE RETURNED ALIVE BACK INTO THE WATER.
           
All restrictions listed above will be effective June 1, 2016 from the Holitna up to the headwaters.


Please remember we are in a time of conservation and we need to let those kings go if we’d like to see them in the future. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Fisheries Commission Marks Milestone


After what may have seemed like a quiet winter and off-season, the Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission convened in Bethel on May 11-12.  This is only the second time all Tribes of the Kuskokwim, as many as could make it at least, gathered to discuss the role of the Commission and the management capabilities that it holds.  Quietly, over the last several months, the Executive Council of the KRITFC (elected by fellow commissioners last May) have been putting together an MOU with the US Fish & Wildlife Service.  After being approved by the Commission a small signing ceremony was held to commemorate the monumental step toward co-management of fisheries on the Kuskokwim.  What does the MOU do exactly? In a nutshell, it formalizes a management partnership where the USFWS and the Federal in-season manager will consult with the Commission and incorporate their knowledge and strategies into decision-making.  As it stands now the river is Federally managed from the mouth up to a boundary at Aniak. From Aniak to the Headwaters, the river is managed by the State. The Commission’s next step is to work out a similar agreement with the Alaska Department of Fish & Game.  The Commission aims for a unified co-management system for the river and does not recognize the State/Federal boundary, having these agreements in place allows for that drainage wide approach.  The KRITFC has made strides in the last year for giving Tribes a voice at the table and assuring that their leg of the management the stool is present, they are building a model for co-management.  

The appointed commissioner for Georgetown is Jonathan Samuelson, if you have any questions or concerns he can be reached by email at samuelson.jk@gmail.com 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

One door closes, another opens...

In this case the doors are acutally sections of the Kuksokwim and we don't know if either will remain open or closed, but here are some updates.

Fishing remains closed to all non-federally qualified users.
Chinook fishing is still closed to all user groups. 

NEW>> Mouth of the river upstream to Tuluksak:
There was scheduled to be an opening from Thursday, June 18 – Sunday, June 21, with the previously posted 4inch net restrictions. Due to low numbers at Bethel Test Fisheries and with the support of the Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, that opportunity to fish has been closed.  In short, all gill net fishing from Tuluksak down is prohibeted until further notice. Those designated fishermen with Federal Community Harvest Permits may continue to fish during the closure, but this is the only exception. Fishing for species other than Chinook with legal gear is allowed, but any king salmon caught should be returned, live, to the water.

Tuluksak up to the boundary at Aniak:
The limited opportunity with restricted gear will remain open for this section of the river. As posted before that limited opening is:
·         6 a.m. Thursday June 18 until 6 a.m. Sunday June 21

Aniak to the Holitna:
The limited openings with restricted gear are still a go at this time.
·         6:00 a.m. Thursday, June 18 until 6:00 a.m. Sunday, June 21;
·         6:00 a.m. Thursday, June 25 until 6:00 a.m. Sunday, June 28.

Holitna up to the Headwaters
The limited openings with restricted gear are still a go at this time.
·         6:00 a.m. Thursday, June 18 until 6:00 a.m. Sunday, June 21;
·         6:00 a.m. Thursday, June 25 until 6:00 a.m. Sunday, June 28;
·         6:00 a.m. Thursday, July 2 until 6:00 a.m. Sunday, July 


NEW>> Elder Fishery Announced.
The ADF&G has announced that there will a subsistence salmon fishing opportunity for Elders from the Boundary at Aniak up to the Headwaters.  This Elder Fishery was supported by both the Working Group (KRSMWG) and the Commission (KRITFC) and is an effort to provide a more feasible opportunity for limited fishing to the upriver villages that are located above the Yukon Delta NWR boundary at Aniak. Here are the details of the limited opening:

Saturday, June 20 from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.
6-inch or less mesh gillnets, 45 meshes deep, and not to exceed 10 fathoms in length *
Alaska residents 60 years of age or older,
An Alaska resident 60 years of age or older must be present while fishing activities are being conducted but may be assisted by family members within the second degree of kindred.
"Second degree of kindred" means a father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, spouse, grandparent, grandchild, brother- or sister-in-law, son- or daughter-in-law, father- or mother-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepsister, stepbrother, stepson, or stepdaughter (5 AAC 92.990).
There are no restriction on how the net can be used for the Elder Fishery. Nets can be set as well as used to drift for this purpose only.

*  A gillnet longer than 10 fathoms may be used as long as only 10 fathoms is in a fishable condition and the remainder of the gillnet is either tied up or secured so that it is not in the water in a fishing condition.



Subsistence fishing restriction and regulations with Hook & Line, Dip Nets, and Fish Wheels remain the same.


And please remember we are in Conservation Mode and any Chinook accidentally caught should be returned live to the water. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

To fish or not to fish? Current Restrictions on the Kuskokwim

>>  From the mouth of the Holitna up to the Headwaters
Right now fishing on the part of the river is unrestricted but the following restrictions will go into effect Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 6:00am Fishing will be restricted to the use of set gillnets 4 inch or less, no longer than 60 feet and 45 meshes deep, no part of which may be operated more than 100 feet from the ordinary high water mark during the following dates and times:

·         6:00 a.m. Thursday, June 11 until 6:00 a.m. Sunday, June 14;
·         6:00 a.m. Thursday, June 18 until 6:00 a.m. Sunday, June 21;
·         6:00 a.m. Thursday, June 25 until 6:00 a.m. Sunday, June 28;
·         6:00 a.m. Thursday, July 2 until 6:00 a.m. Sunday, July 5.

Subsistence fishing with
Hook and line: will close at 6:00am Thursday, June 11, 2015.
Dip nets: will be allowed from June 11 at 6:00am until further notice.
Fish wheels: will be allowed from June 11 at 6:00am until further notice, with a live box with no less than 45 cubic feet of water, and must be checked at least every 6 hours. Fish wheels may also be used with a chute and must be closely attended while in operation.
*Any Chinook caught must be returned, live to the water.

Subsistence fishing for chum and sockeye with gillnets restricted to 6 inch mesh or less will be announced later. 

>>From the boundary at Aniak up river to the mouth of the Holitna
All the previous restrictions went into effect on June 4 and the opportunities to fish with the restricted gear mentioned above are as follows:

·         6:00 a.m. Thursday, June 4 until 6:00 a.m. Sunday, June 7;
·         6:00 a.m. Thursday, June 11 until 6:00 a.m. Sunday, June 14;
·         6:00 a.m. Thursday, June 18 until 6:00 a.m. Sunday, June 21;
·         6:00 a.m. Thursday, June 25 until 6:00 a.m. Sunday, June 28.


>>From the Mouth of the Kuskokwim up to the boundary at Aniak, and Salmon Tributaries:
 Effective June 7, 2015: All fishing is restricted to federally qualified users.
Effective 6:01 a.m., Sunday, June 7, 2015, all gillnets are prohibited on the Kwethluk, Kasigluk, Kisaralik, Tuluksak and Aniak rivers and their Salmon tributaries.

Subsistence fishing on the Kuskokwim and Eek Rivers is restricted to the gillnets described above and is limited to the following openings:

·         6 a.m. Thursday June 4 until 6 a.m. Sunday June 7
·         6 a.m. Thursday June 11 until 6 a.m. Sunday June 14
·         6 a.m. Thursday June 18 until 6 a.m. Sunday June 21



PLEASE REMEMBER WE ARE IN CONSERVATION MODE AND EVERY CHINOOK THAT MAKES IT TO THE SPAWNING GROUNDS HELPS TO SUSTAIN KING SALMON FOR OUR FUTURE GENERATIONS

ALSO NOTE IF YOU ARE GOING TO USE A GILLNET IT NEEDS TO BE SET THERE IS *NO DRIFTING* AND ALL GILLNETS NEED TO BE OUT OF THE WATER BY 6:01AM SUNDAY.

There is a lot of information here and if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us at Georgetown Tribal Council and we will do our best to get you answers.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Kuskokwim Fishing Today

There have been a few meetings and public events regarding fishing already. While I am still sorting through details and working on write-ups, I wanted to share the current fishing restrictions on the Kuskokwim.

Effective MAY 21, 2015
Chinook salmon fishing from downstream of Tuluksak to the mouth of the river is closed to all user groups May 21 – 28, 2015.

There will be opportunities to fish using gill nets for 72 hours each week from 6:00 a.m. Thursday through 6:00 a.m. Sunday

Gill nets must be SET (no drifting) and are restricted to four-inch mesh size, not to exceed 60-feet in length and 45 meshes deep.

This area is closed to all gill nets from 6:01 a.m. Sunday through 5:59 a.m. Thursday weekly

Fishing from the regulatory markers near Tuluksak upstream to Aniak is allowed with unrestricted gill nets through 5:59 a.m., Thursday, May 28, 2015. Beginning 6:00 a.m. Thursday, May 28, 2015 the above mentioned restrictions will be effective.

Currently waters on the Kuskokwim River upstream from Aniak are managed by the State Department of Fish and Game and they are working on a news release with a management plan. Restrictions are expected to begin June 4 from Aniak to the Holitna and then June 11 from the Holitna on up, and should follow the same guidelines as seen on the lower parts of the river.

Here is a link to the full Federal Subsistence Board news release, discussing the lower parts of the river:

Attached here are instructions for signing up to the ADF&G news release system. We will share more on upriver plans as they are released.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Summer has returned, and so have we!

Hi! Welcome to Georgetown Tribal Council’s Environmental blog. After a bit of a hiatus, we are back with a new Environmental Coordinator, Jonathan Samuelson. That’s me! I am looking forward to keeping you up to date with current happenings concerning the environment along our river. To get things rolling please enjoy this video from NOVAGOLD and Donlin Gold. It is part two of a series and highlights the subsistence way of life in our region. 



Speaking of subsistence, fishing season is upon us and we will do our best to keep everyone informed. Stay tuned for regular updates!

If you have any questions or ideas for the blog feel free to contact me by email or phone
jonathan.samuelson@georgetowntc.com     907.274.2195