BETHEL, Alaska (AP) Starting next month, the management of king salmon on a southwestern Alaska river will transfer from state control to federal.

KYUK-AM reports that as of June 12, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will begin to oversee the salmon living on lower and middle Kuskokwim River. Under federal law, the switch is necessary when there is poor return of king salmon. By taking over the fishery, the service is responsible for ensuring that local people receive subsistence priority.

According to the report, the feds may announce gillnet fishing openings depending on the condition of the run.

Refuge Manager Ken Stahlnecker says one opening is already scheduled for June 12. He expects fishers will be allowed to harvest as many as salmons this year as last year: about 40,000 kings.