The federal government will manage the Yukon River salmon fishery this summer, where the river crosses federal lands. This action follows a decision published on May 6 by the Federal Subsistence Board. Only federal subsistence users who live along the river will be permitted to fish for salmon in federal waters of the Yukon River.
“Federal public waters of the North Yukon Region include all navigable and non-navigable fresh waters within and adjacent to the outer boundaries of National Wildlife Refuges, National Parks and Reserves and National Conservation Areas, as well as segments of the National Nature Reserve. Scenic Rivers system located outside the boundaries of other federally listed conservation units. Federal public waters also include all fresh waters that flow into the Bering Sea between the latitude of Romanof Point and the latitude of the westernmost point of the Naskonat Peninsula within the outer limits of the National Wildlife Refuge of Yukon Delta,” the Federal Subsistence Board said in a statement. .
The council said it based its decision on record salmon returns in recent years and the expectation that returns will be low again for all species this year. Subsistence salmon harvesting was not allowed last year.
The Holy Cross Tribe and the Native Village of Eagle, along with two residents of the Yukon River, have requested federal management of the Yukon River.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will manage the river where it crosses state land.