Chatanika Personal Use Whitefish Spear Fishery
Overview

spearfishing at the Chatanika River

This fishery occurs in the fall every year on the Chatanika River just north of Fairbanks when whitefish migrate from the Minto Flats area upstream to spawning grounds on the upper Chatanika. These fish move primarily at night, and users typically spear whitefish when it is dark using lanterns and bright headlamps.

The fishery is conducted from the Elliot Highway Bridge downstream to the Alyeska Pipeline crossing, which is approximately seven miles downstream of the Elliot Highway Bridge. Most people access the fishing area from either the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Whitefish Campground just beyond the Elliot Highway bridge or from the DNR Olnes Pond Campground.

Currently, 225 household permits are issued annually to Alaska residents in late August. The limited number of permits issued ensures that the total harvest from the fishery occurs at a sustainable level.