Fairbanks – The Alaska Board of Fisheries, at the January 14-18 Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim meeting in Anchorage, deliberated on 14 and adopted 8 proposals that changed sport fishing regulations in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Region for the upcoming fishing season. The new regulations are summarized below:
- Tanana River Area drainage: In all waters, except stocked lakes, a king salmon that is removed from the water must be retained and becomes part of the bag limit of the person that originally hooked the fish, and a person may not remove a king salmon from the water before releasing the fish.
- Chena River: The bag and possession limit for Arctic grayling is one fish, any size, with an open season from June 1 through March 31, except that a person 16 years of age or older may not sport fish for Arctic grayling in the Chena River downstream from the ADF&G regulatory marker located 300 feet downstream from the Chena River flood control structure (Chena River Dam) during the 8 designated youth fishing days. These designated youth fishing days occur on 4 consecutive Saturdays and Sundays beginning the 3rd Saturday in June, which in 2023 is June 17.
- Fielding Lake: The minimum length limit for lake trout of 26 inches or greater was removed, and the bag and possession limit for lake trout is 1 fish, no size limit.
- Bathing Beauty, Bear, Moose, and Polaris Lakes, Piledriver Slough, and Moose Creek: Catch-and-release fishing only is allowed for all species in these waters, no sport caught fish may be kept from these lakes.
- Tanana River Area stocked waters: Horseshoe Lake, Parks Hwy 285 Pond, Weigh Station #1 and #2 Pits, and Pyrite and Sansing Ponds are added to the Tanana River Area stocked waters. Bathing Beauty Pond, Bear, Cather, Polaris, and Moose Lakes, and Steese Hwy 28.8 Mile Pit are removed from the Tanana River Area stocked waters.
- Tanana River Area stocked waters: Lake trout are added as a stocked species to the Tanana River Area stocked waters and management plan with a bag and possession limit of 2 lake trout in combination with the stocked species limit of 10 fish, only one of which may be 18 inches or greater in length.
- Northern Norton Sound Arctic grayling: The bag and possession limit for Arctic grayling in Northern Norton Sound drainages is 2 fish, no size limit. In the Pilgrim and Snake Rivers, the bag and possession limit is 1 fish, no size limit.
- Yukon River Area drainage: In all waters, a king salmon that is removed from the water must be retained and becomes part of the bag limit of the person that originally hooked the fish, and a person may not remove a king salmon from the water before releasing the fish.
These regulations will take effect with the release of the 2023 Northern Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary. To find a preliminary summary of all actions taken at the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim meeting, please check the Alaska Board of Fisheries website.
Any questions regarding these changes to the sport fishing regulations in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Region can be directed to Region III Sport Fish Information Officer Tim Mowry at (907) 459-7346 or AYK Regional Management Coordinator Klaus Wuttig at (907) 459-7344 at the Fairbanks Fish and Game office.