During the December 1–5 Board of Fisheries meeting in Valdez, the board considered 11 proposals that would change subsistence, personal use, or sport fishing regulations within the Upper Copper River and Upper Susitna River drainages. The board adopted four proposals that will affect fishing regulations within the Upper Copper River and Upper Susitna River drainages.
The board adopted one proposal to amend the Copper River Subsistence Salmon Fisheries Management Plan to establish, in regulation, a set season for the state subsistence fishery in the Batzulnetas Area of the Copper River that requires no annual action by the commissioner to open and close. Previously, this fishery was required to be opened annually by emergency order. The season set in regulation is identical to the one previously established annually by emergency order.
A proposal was adopted that repealed language in the Copper River Personal Use Dip Net Salmon Fishery Management Plan requiring the automatic reduction in maximum harvest level for the Chitina Subdistrict personal use dip net fishery from 100,000–150,000 salmon to 50,000 salmon, when the Copper River District commercial drift gillnet fishery is closed for 13 or more consecutive days.
The board adopted two department proposals specific to the area sport fisheries. The first simplified Gulkana River drainage regulations by replacing seasonal closures of the sockeye salmon fisheries in Paxson and Summit lakes and Gunn Creek with complete closures. The second allowed for the use of bait and treble hooks in the flowing waters of the Upper Susitna River drainage with the exception of the Tyone River drainage.
These regulations will take effect with the release of the 2018 Sport Fishing Regulations Summary. To find a preliminary summary of all board actions please check the Alaska Board of Fisheries website at:
Any questions regarding these changes to the fishing regulations in the Upper Copper River and Upper Susitna River drainages can be directed to either Mark Somerville (907) 822-3309 at the Glennallen Fish and Game office or Tim Viavant (907) 459-7266 at the Fairbanks Fish and Game office.