Yukon enjoying banner salmon season

Unlike most other Alaska regions, Yukon salmon fishermen are enjoying some record salmon catches. The combined fall chum and coho harvest of more than one million fish is the largest in the 55 years of the commercial fishery, according to regional managers.  


“It’s a pivotal year,” said Jack Schultheis, longtime manager of Kwik-Pak Fisheries in Emmonak.

A chum salmon leaping. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo.Another first was a healthy pink salmon fishery complete with interested buyers.

“There’s never been a pink fishery in the river before and this was the first year we targeted them,” Schultheis told Seafood.com “The catch of 127,250 may not sound like much, but considering no one has ever bought pinks on the Yukon, we’re encouraged about that.”

Schultheis credited the good returns to “excellent management.” 

“The department (of Fish and Game) has done an exceptional job managing the fishery,” he said. “That’s why I feel very positive about the future. I think this is going to be the norm, to have consistent runs like this.”

About the author

Jessica Hathaway

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 13 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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