UCUS Area Management Biologist
July 29, 2014
The Chitina Subdistrict personal use dip net fishery will open from 12:01 a.m. Monday, August 4 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, August 10. Harvest supplemental to the annual limit for sockeye salmon is allowed during this week – see below for the fishery rules and harvest limits. The fishery remains closed to the retention of king salmon for the remainder of the season. King salmon incidentally taken must be released immediately and returned to the water unharmed.
Standard rules that apply during the August 4 weekly period are as follows:
• Personal use fishermen must possess both a Chitina Personal Use fishery permit and a valid resident sport fishing license when fishing.
• The annual limit is 15 salmon for a household of one, and 30 salmon for a household of two or more.
• Steelhead cannot be kept, and must be returned to the water unharmed.
• Harvest must be recorded on the permit immediately. 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.
• The tips of the tail of personal use caught fish must be clipped immediately upon landing a fish.
During this period, a supplemental harvest of 10 sockeye salmon per household, in addition to the annual limit, will be allowed. Rules pertaining to the supplemental harvest are:
• Supplemental sockeye salmon may only be harvested if the annual limit has been filled.
• Supplemental harvest must be recorded on the permit immediately.
• The supplemental harvest box must be checked.
The Copper River personal use fishery is managed under direction outlined in 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 14 – July 20, there were 119,543 salmon counted past the Miles Lake sonar. The preseason projection for this period was 63,340 salmon, which results in a surplus of 56,203 salmon. Copper River sockeye salmon migratory timing and the previous five-year average harvest and participation rates indicate sufficient numbers of salmon available to maintain 168 hours of fishing time during the week of August 4 – August 10.
The plan also directs the department to allow increased annual limits when a weekly harvestable surplus of 50,000 or more salmon is available in the Chitina Subdistrict. The excess of more than 50,000 salmon above the preseason sonar projection for this period allows the supplemental harvest of 10 additional sockeye salmon for those permit holders who have already harvested their original permit 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.
The current 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.