Fishery managers on the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers can allow new gear this summer in an effort to conserve king salmon while still permitting local harvests of chums and sockeyes.
The decision came during the Alaska Board of Fisheries weeklong meeting in Anchorage, March 17-21, to discuss statewide king and tanner crab fisheries, as well as certain out-of-cycle proposals for other salmon and groundfish fisheries throughout the state.
Larger dipnets will be permitted on the Yukon and shorter gillnets on the Kuskokwim as a result. The decision was in response to emergency petitions and proposals for alternative means of fishing in western Alaska.
The Kuskokwim River Salmon Management Working Group submitted two emergency petitions to the board asking that the subsistence fishery permit dipnetting from the Kusko -- a first for that river -- and also allow shorter gillnets.