“I am addressing my way of life,” subsistence hunter Walter Sampson said at last week’s meeting in Kotzebue, wary of sport caribou hunters being allowed back into Unit 23.
Salmon fishing is underway on the Yukon River, but runs are expected to be below average this summer season.
On Wednesday, the state officials asked the Federal Subsistence Board to reconsider the yearlong closure, which goes into effect on July 1.
Officials with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation estimate 200 to 300 gallons of home heating oil have spilled after the failure of a fuel filter gasket.
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.
Two dogs were injured—one fatally—in the attack before the bull muskox was killed in what officials call a clear case of “defense of life or property.”
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.
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.”
As Chinook salmon make it to spawning grounds in Canada, subsistence fishing along the Yukon ebbs as fishermen await fall chums.
Along the Yukon River, Alaska’s intense summer wildland fires and ongoing gear restrictions for subsistence fishermen are keeping fishing to a minimum.