U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to begin oversight of Kuskokwim River salmon

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(AP) - As of June 12, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will begin overseeing salmon living in the lower and middle Kuskokwim River.

This area is marked by the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, as well as the Aniak, down to the mouth of the Kuskokwim.

The switch from state to federal is in response to poor king salmon return in the area. By taking over the fishery, Fish and Wildlife Services are responsible for ensuring locals to a subsistent living.

The day of the switch is also a day where the fishery is expected to be opened. According to Ken Stahlnecker, the manager of the refuge, it is expected to be open for 12 hours, but it is not yet certain.

It is expected fishers will be able to catch the same amount they did last year, which was 40,000 kings.

Under federal control, only subsistent users living in the area are able to take the fish.