Emergency Orders and News Releases
Sport and Personal Use Fishing
Region 3-Interior News Release
(Released: May 30, 2012)
May 30, 2012
ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME
Cora Campbell, Commissioner
DIVISION OF SPORT FISH
Charles O. Swanton, Director
AMENDMENT TO THE 2012 COPPER RIVER PERSONAL USE DIP NET SALMON FISHING SCHEDULE The Chitina Subdistrict will open for the season with a 96-hour period from 12:01 a.m. Thursday June 7 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday June 10. In addition, a supplemental harvest of 10 additional sockeye salmon will be allowed for the personal use dip net salmon fishery in the Chitina Subdistrict during this period. Supplemental permits are incorporated in the Chitina Subdistrict fishery permit and supplemental harvest must be recorded on this permit before leaving the fishing site. The supplemental harvest portion of the permit is valid only if the original permit limit has been harvested. Supplemental sockeye salmon may only be taken from 12:01 a.m., June 7 to 11:59 p.m., June 10. 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 a total of 15 salmon for a household of one, and 30 salmon for a household of two or more.
• Of the total limit only one king salmon can be kept 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.
• When a harvestable surplus of 50,000 salmon or greater will be present in the Chitina Subdistrict, a supplemental permit for 10 additional sockeye salmon will be issued by emergency order to Chitina Subdistrict personal use permit holders.
• 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.
During May 21 - 27, there were 138,877 salmon counted past the Miles Lake sonar. The preseason projection for this period was 83,678 salmon, which results in a surplus of 55,199 salmon. Copper River sockeye salmon migratory timing and the previous five-year average harvest and participation rates indicate sufficient numbers of salmon available to allow 96 hours of fishing time during the week of June 4 – June 10. In addition, an excess of more than 50,000 salmon above the preseason sonar projection for this period allows a supplemental harvest of 10 additional sockeye salmon to those permit holders who have already harvested their original permit limit. Depending on actual numbers of salmon passing the Miles Lake sonar, future fishing periods may be increased or decreased, accordingly.
All residents of Alaska qualify to participate in this personal use fishery. A Chitina Subdistrict Personal Use Fishing permit and a resident sport fishing license are required. There is no fee for the Chitina Subdistrict personal use fishing permit.
Public access, without a fee, to the Copper River is available in those areas where the eastern boundary of the 300’ wide O’Brien Creek Road easement reaches the ordinary high water mark of the west bank of the Copper River. Boat launch and fish wheel access to the Copper River is available via the 17b easement located upstream of the Chitina-McCarthy Bridge on the east bank of the Copper River. Public access and boat launching is also available downstream of the Chitina-McCarthy Bridge on the east bank of the Copper River within the DOT ROW where it reaches ordinary high water.
Uplands on both banks of the Copper River within the Chitina Subdistrict boundaries are private. Vehicle and foot access to the Copper River remains restricted along these private lands and at O’Brien Creek. Landowners in the area have incorporated a fee-based permit system which allows public access over their private lands. For more information on access across private lands contact Chitina Native Corporation at (907) 823-2223. Not all private land is posted. A brochure, which offers guidance into private land locations within the fishery area, is distributed with the Chitina Subdistrict personal use fishery permit. The Department urges dipnetters to respect the rights of private landowners.
Information regarding the fishery can be found at the ADF&G web site: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...orChitina.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. As in the past, changes to the fishing schedule and river conditions 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.