ANCHORAGE -

After several hours of testimony and discussion Thursday, the Federal Subsistence Board voted to limit who can fish for king salmon on the Kuskokwim River if there is a harvestable surplus.

Only federally qualified subsistence users would be able to participate in the harvest. Forty villages and approximately 14,000 people qualify, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Orutsararmiut Native Council had submitted a request to further limit the pool of qualified users to only those who have dried and smoked salmon in the traditional way for at least 10 years.

The board did not take any action on that request, but deferred any allocation decisions to the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge Manager, who will have access to in-season information.