Westside Opening as Buskin Closes

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Jay Barrett/KMXT

The state and the federal governments are closing subsistence and sports fishing in and around the Buskin River because of a low return of sockeye salmon. In joint announcements Friday afternoon, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Federal Subsistence Board announced the closures, which will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday – basically after midnight Monday.

James Jackson is the area commercial fisheries management biologist in Kodiak:

(Buskin 1 35 sec "Well, right now … for subsistence out there.")

There were 1,939 sockeye passing the Buskin weir through Friday, which is just a little bit better than a year ago on June 11, when 1,268 reds had escaped.

Commercial fishing remains closed in the Buskin Section, and Fish and Game will be closing sportsfishing in the Buskin Lake drainage effective tomorrow (Tuesday), as well.

Jackson says the closure should be in effect until the pinks start running next month:

(Buskin 2 14 sec "Yeah, they have a little … and other things as well.")

Jackson says that over-escapement on the Buskin in the brood years may have resulted in the poor runs the last few years, which is a similar problem to what’s affecting the Karluk run on the west side.

(Buskin 3 36 sec "Between 1999 and 2005 … a few systems around here.")

The poor Karluk run is resulting in a fishery on the west side that so far has only two scheduled openings:

(Buskin 4 35 sec "Right now, we have two … probably the sixth of July.")

A 33-hour opening was announced for the Northwest Kodiak District, except the Kizhuyak Section, for noon today, ending at 9 p.m. Tuesday. Other districts have been opened as well. Call the Fish and Game recorded announcement line at 486-4559 for the full announcement.

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