(Released: July 09, 2018 - Expired: December 31, 2018)

Division of Sport Fish
Tom Brookover, Director
Anchorage Headquarters Office
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, AK 99518

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Sam Cotten, Commissioner
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526

Contact: Mark Somerville, UCUS Area Management Biologist
(907) 822-3309

Upper Copper River Sockeye Salmon Sport Fishery Opens

All sockeye salmon sport fisheries in the Upper Copper River Drainage, upstream of the south bank of Haley Creek, will reopen effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 13. The bag and possession limit is 3 sockeye salmon.

The 2018 Copper River sockeye salmon run has improved, allowing opening of the Copper River sockeye salmon sport fishery. As of July 8, a total of 519,772 salmon were counted past the Miles Lake sonar. The preseason projection for this date was 481,232 salmon, which results in a surplus of 38,540 salmon and daily sonar counts continue to exceed projected counts.

The 2018 Copper River sockeye salmon run has required the department to modify management strategies to compensate for low sockeye salmon wild stock abundance, a stronger than projected hatchery stock run, and management of Copper River Delta sockeye salmon wild stock escapement in order to provide harvest opportunity and still achieve the wild sockeye salmon sustainable escapement goal.

At this time it appears likely that the lower bound Copper River sockeye salmon escapement goal will be achieved. Based on Copper River sockeye salmon migratory timing and historic sport fishing harvest and participation it is likely the sport fishery can remain open for the remainder of the season.