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.
With summer salmon runs just around the corner, Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation is making efforts to bolster its salmon rehabilitation projects in Western Alaska.
At the end of this successful season, over $4 million paid to fishermen in the Norton Sound region.
Commercial salmon values were at record highs across Norton Sound this summer.
As the salmon season begins tapering off, returns across much of western Alaska have been above average. But there’s one fishery where the commercial harvest is shattering recent precedents: Kotzebue. And the cause is a mix of Mother Nature and marketing.