Commercial fishermen at Alaska’s northernmost salmon fishery caught more than 300,000 pounds of chum salmon, pocketing over $800,000.
A large mid-August pulse of fall chum and coho salmon is keeping commercial fishermen busy in the lower river, but those upriver say they have yet to meet their subsistence needs.
After a break between the summer chum and the fall chum runs, “fish camps are coming to life again” along the Yukon River, fishermen say.
As more than $2.6 million is paid out to summer crab and salmon fishermen, NSEDC’s board met in August to discuss commercial fishing in Norton Sound and beyond.
Despite a slow run that’s left Yukon fisherman waiting for fall chum, Jeff Estensen with Fish and Game said “(by) all accounts, it definitely seems like we have a pulse of fish going upriver.”
Western Alaska is in midst of one of the best salmon runs in decades, and that means fishermen are catching record numbers of chum.
Fishermen expressed frustration about gear restrictions, closures, and potentially infected fish.
Along the Yukon River, Alaska’s intense summer wildland fires and ongoing gear restrictions for subsistence fishermen are keeping fishing to a minimum.
Yukon salmon managers anticipated an early season for both Chinook and chum, but now, both runs are looking closer to average – that’s why they say most communities along the Yukon currently have empty fish racks.
Summer chum and Chinook salmon have begun their runs along the Yukon River.