Subsistence fishing for Buskin River coho salmon will reopen at 12:01 am on Thursday, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Federal Subsistence Board.
According to Alaska Department of Fish & Game Area Management Biologist James Jackson, both the coho subsistence and sport fisheries were closed September 19 to make sure the Buskin made its escapement goal of 4,700 silvers. “When we closed it, I think we only had about 200 fish past the weir,” he said on Wednesday. “We know we had low water situation like everywhere else, and there [were] a lot of fish holding out on the beach as well. But we were getting towards the end of the run, and we wanted to make sure that we made our escapement goal.”
Buskin coho weir counts lagged mostly in the single and double digits until Sept. 23, when nearly 2,000 silvers passed through, bringing the cumulative count to nearly twice that of the same time last year. On Tuesday, the count passed the minimum, clocking in at just over 5,000 fish.
Jackson says the recent spate of rain helped move cohos upstream. As for sport fishing, he said “I don’t know exactly when it’s going to reopen, but I’m sure it’s gonna reopen.”
He said to keep an eye out over the next couple of days for a coho sport fishing announcement.