ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Alaska Department of Fish and Game expects the state to meet its escapement goal for king salmon on the Yukon River, but it came at a heavy cost to area residents.
Under an international treaty 42,500 chinook salmon are required to make it to the spawning grounds in Canada.
The Department closed periods of subsistence fishing on the first two pulses of early run king salmon in order to allow a greater number of kings to reach the spawning grounds.
"That was a major contributor," Dr. Katie Howard, Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim regional biologist for ADF&G, said.
This is the second time in five years the escapement goal has been met.
"The story of this year was really a story of cooperation with fishermen as well as with the buyer," Howard said.
King runs on the Yukon River have been poor for several years, but this year there is some relief thanks to a strong fall chum salmon run. ADF&G expects a run of at least 800,000 fall chum salmon.