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