The Chitina Subdistrict will open for a 168-hour period from 12:01 a.m. Monday, August 6 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, August 12.
The fishery will thereafter open each week through the remainder of August under the following schedule. The fishery is open by regulation during the month of September:
Thursday, August 16, 6:00 a.m. through Sunday, August 19, 6:00 p.m. 84 hours
Thursday, August 23, 6:00 a.m. through Sunday, August 26, 6:00 p.m. 84 hours
Thursday, August 30, 6:00 a.m. through Friday, August 31, 11:59 p.m. 42 hours
Saturday, Sept 1, 12:01 a.m. through Sunday, Sept 30, 11:59 p.m. continuous
Final cumulative passage at the Miles Lake sonar, as of July 28, was 701,577 salmon. Continued expected salmon run entry indicates sufficient numbers of salmon to meet or exceed the lower bound sockeye salmon escapement goal with limited fishing opportunity in the Chitina Subdistrict personal use dip net fishery. The Copper River personal use fishery is managed under direction of the Copper River Personal Use Dip Net Salmon Fishery Management Plan (5 AAC 77.591). The plan establishes the season from June 7 through September 30, and directs the department to establish weekly periods based on Miles Lake sonar counts. During July 16 – 22, there were 83,176 salmon counted past the Miles Lake sonar. The preseason projection for this period was 45,317 salmon, which results in a surplus of 37,859 salmon. Copper River sockeye salmon migratory timing and the previous five-year average harvest and participation rates indicate sufficient numbers of salmon available to justify 168 hours of fishing time during the week of August 6 – 12.
The Miles Lake sonar operations ended for the season on July 29. During July 23 – 28, there were 19,868 salmon counted past the Miles Lake sonar. The preseason projection for this period was 31,889 salmon, which is 62% below expected. Copper River sockeye salmon migratory timing and the previous five-year average harvest and participation rates indicate sufficient numbers of salmon available to justify limited weekly fishing opportunity through the remainder of August. The fishery is open by regulation from 12:01 a.m. Saturday, September 1 through the end of the season at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, September 30.
As a reminder, the Copper River Personal Use Dip Net Salmon Fishery Management Plan and the Statewide Personal Use Fishing Regulations state that:
The annual limit is 25 salmon for the head of household and 10 salmon for each dependent of the permit holder.
Of the total limit only one king salmon may be retained per household.
Personal use fishers must possess both their Chitina Personal Use fishery permit and a valid resident sport fishing license when fishing. Steelhead cannot be kept, and must be returned to the water unharmed.
Harvest must be recorded on the permit immediately.
The tips of the tail of personal use caught fish must be clipped immediately upon landing a fish.
“Immediately” is defined as before concealing the salmon from plain view or transporting the salmon from the fishing site. “Fishing site” means the location where the fish was removed from the water and became part of the permit holder’s bag limit.
Information regarding the fishery can be found at the ADF&G web site: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=PersonalUsebyAreaInteriorChitina.main. This site provides information regarding the Upper Copper River fisheries including: fishery descriptions and summaries, maps of the subdistricts, a listing of vendors that carry the permits, and links to the sonar numbers and fishing schedule emergency orders.
Any changes on the status of this fishery will be announced on the Chitina Fishery information line at 822-5224 (Glennallen), 459-7382 (Fairbanks), and 267-2511 (Anchorage). Please contact an information phone line prior to planning your trip to Chitina to ensure that the fishery will be open when you arrive. If you have any questions regarding the Chitina Subdistrict personal use fishery, please contact the ADF&G office in Glennallen at (907) 822-3309.