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Alaska Department of Fish and Game


Fish Creek Personal Use Salmon Fishery
Permits & Regulations

To participate in any personal use fishery, you must be an Alaska Resident, and possess a valid Sport Fishing License or ADF&G senior license or ADF&G Disabled Veteran's License.

Personal use salmon dipnetting in Fish Creek is only opened by emergency order.  There is no "normal" season.  Some years the fishery does not open at all.

A permit is required to personal use dipnet for salmon in Fish Creek.

Permits can be obtained from private vendors or at Fish and Game offices in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Palmer, Soldotna, and Homer. (make into links to contact pages)

Households may not have both the Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use Salmon Permit and the Kachemak Bay Coho Salmon Set Gillnet Permit.  Households must choose one or the other permit.

Personal use permits are household permits.  This means that only one permit is required per household.  However, all participating members of the household who are 16 years old or older must also have an Alaska resident sport fishing license, ADF&G senior license or ADF&G Disabled Veteran's license to participate, and must be named on the permit.

Permits must be filled in each time you fish
You must record the date, location, and harvest by species each time you fish. You must fill in this information even if you did not catch any fish - write "0" in the space provided for harvest.

The salmon must be recorded on the permit before it is concealed from plain view, such as put in a cooler, or before the salmon is transported from the fishing site, such as your vehicle. Failure to record the salmon on the permit is a violation, and may be subject to fines and loss of future personal use fishing privileges.




Permits must be returned to ADF&G
Each household permit is also a harvest recording document. You must return your permit to ADF&G at the end of the fishing season, by the date specified on the permit, even if you did not use the permit, and even if you did use the permit but did not catch anything.

Failure to return the permit is a violation of 5 AAC 77.015(c) and may be subject to a $200 fine and loss of your personal use fishing privileges.

Seasons:  Personal use salmon dipnetting in Fish Creek is only opened by emergency order.  There is no “normal” season.  Some years the fishery does not open at all.  If the fishery opens, it typically opens in mid- to late-July.  When the fishery is open, the peak of the run is typically between July 15 and July 25.

Bag Limits:  The total yearly harvest out of all the Upper Cook Inlet personal use salmon fisheries (Kenai, Kasilof, and Fish Creek) is 25 salmon and 10 flounder for the permit holder and 10 salmon for each additional household member.  The limit is combined for all four fisheries – Kenai dipnetting, Kasilof dipnetting, Kasilof set gillnetting, and Fish Creek dipnetting.

No king salmon may be kept in the Fish Creek dipnet fishery.

These are household limits, not a daily limit, or a limit per fishery.

Personal use salmon required to be "marked"
By regulation, you must "mark" salmon harvested in a personal use fishery in which a permit is required by clipping both tips of the tail fin.  Scissors or shears are the best way to cut off  the tips of the tail fin.

The salmon must be marked before the salmon is concealed from plain view, such as put in a cooler, or before the salmon is transported from the fishing site, such as your vehicle. Failure to mark the salmon is a violation, and may be subject to fines and loss of future personal use fishing privileges.


Bag limits

The total yearly harvest out of all the Upper Cook Inlet personal use salmon fisheries (Kenai, Kasilof, and Fish Creek) is 25 salmon and 10 flounder for the permit holder and 10 salmon for each additional household member. The limit is combined for all four fisheries - Kenai dipnetting, Kasilof dipnetting, Kasilof set gillnetting, and Fish Creek dipnetting.  King salmon may not be kept in the Fish Creek dipnet fishery.

These are annual household limits, not a daily limit, or a limit per fishery.

Legal gear: dipnet
In 5 AAC 39.105 of the Alaska Administrative Code, a dipnet is defined as

  1. a bag-shaped net supported on all sides by a rigid frame;
  2. the maximum straight-line distance between any two points on the net frame, as measured between any two points on the net frame, as measured through the net opening, may not exceed five feet;
  3. the depth of the bag must be at least one-half of the greatest straight-line distance, as measured through the net opening;
  4. no portion of the bag may be constructed of webbing that exceeds a stretched measurement of 4.5 inches;
  5. the frame must be attached to a single rigid handle and be operated by hand.

This definition applies statewide, to both salmon and herring/hooligan dipnet fisheries.


Fish Creek dipnet open area
If this fishery opens, the area open from boat or from shore is in those waters upstream from ADF&G markers at the mouth of Fish Creek upstream to ADF&G markers approximately ¼-mile upstream of the Knik-Goose Bay Road.