KIYU FISH REPORT
The 2016 Yukon coho salmon fishery will go into the books as another record –setter.
After a 10 day directed commercial fishing period in Districts 1 and 2, a total of 182,288 coho have been caught and sold this year on the Yukon. That beats the previous record, set last year, by around 50 thousand fish.
The fall chum commercial harvest on the lower Yukon also set a record this year, with 439 thousand fish caught. Almost a million fall chum made it past the Pilot Station sonar this year, contributing to a larger-than-expected run size of around 1-point-4 million fish.
Escapement goals for fall chum have been met at the Chandalar River and the upper Porcupine at the Canadian border. The border passage numbers at Eagle on the mainstem Yukon are only about halfway to the goal.
The total run size for coho is hard to estimate, since the Pilot Station sonar shut down on September 1st, before another two pulses of coho entered the river. As of September 1st, the sonar had estimated an upriver passage of 168 thousand coho.
Harvest numbers continue to climb in the lower Yukon coho salmon commercial fishery.
About 12 thousand coho have been caught in directed openings since September 1, about twice as many as Kwik’pak Fisheries predicted as the coho season was beginning.
Directed coho openings are permitted under state regulations from September 1st through September 10th. Before that, coho are caught as bycatch in the fall chum directed fishery.
Commercial fishing targeting coho on the lower Yukon is allowed through September 10th.
The September catch of coho brings this year’s record breaking season total for commercially caught coho to almost 159 thousand fish.
Coho numbers in the middle Yukon should increase next week, when the second pulse shows up. The front end of the pulse should be around Koyukuk on September 12. The pulse numbered 60 thousand fish in size at Pilot Station.
The sonar at Pilot Station stopped operations on August 31st but the lower river test fisheries are still active, and have picked up a bump in salmon entry over the past few days, indicating a late season pulse could be forming.
It’s another record-breaking year for the commercial harvest of coho salmon on the Yukon.
As of Wednesday, 133 thousand coho had been caught and sold in the lower Yukon, where coho are treated as bycatch from the targeted fall chum commercial fishery. That tops last year’s record of 117 thousand coho caught and sold, and represents the third year in a row in which the coho commercial harvest record on the Yukon has been broken.
As fall chum have dwindled in the lower river, the number of coho caught in commercial openings in Districts 1 and 2 has spiked upwards, with an overwhelming majority of the fish caught in the last four openings in District 1 and last two openings in District 2 being coho.
The upriver escapement estimate for coho stands at about 164 thousand fish as of Wednesday, according to the Pilot Station sonar.
The smaller first pulse of coho should start appearing at Kaltag around Labor Day, while the larger second pulse, numbering around 60 thousand fish in size, will arrive in the upper portion of subdistrict 4-a during the weekend of September 10th and 11th.
Fall chum passage upriver beyond Pilot Station is approaching 1 million fish. Fall chum entry into the Yukon has slowed to a trickle since August 25th.
413 thousand fall chum have been caught commercially in the lower river.
The fourth pulse of fall chum should begin moving through District 4 this weekend.
There will be a weekly Yukon River In-season Salmon Management Teleconference at 1:00 pm Alaska Time every Tuesday (through August). This is a chance to share your river updates, fishing activities, questions, or concerns with fisheries managers regarding the 2016 Yukon River salmon runs. Everyone is invited and encouraged to listen in and contribute to the conversation. Call in at 1:00 pm Alaska time to stay updated on the salmon run in the Yukon River. The call in number is 1-800-315-6338 FREE and the code is 98566# or YUKON#.
||Current Federal (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service) Subsistence regulations (fishing and hunting) can be found at:
Click on "Northern Yukon Area" to find this area under the Fishing regulations and click "Unit 21 Middle Yukon" to find federal subsistence hunting regulations for this area.
||The Alaska Subsistence Spring/Summer Migratory Bird Harvest regulations can be found at the following website:
Click on link named "Alaska Subsistence Bird Harvest Regulations Handbook" to access regulations.
The Yukon River Delta Fishing Association (YRDFA) weekly Teleconference summaries can be found at:
All state licenses can be purchased on the ADF&G website: