(Released: December 16, 2021)

CONTACT: Mark Somerville
Area Management Biologist
(907) 822-3309

Alaska Board of Fisheries Changes to the Subsistence, Personal Use, and Sport Fishing Regulations in the Upper Copper/Upper Susitna River Drainages

(Fairbanks) - During the November 30 – December 6, 2021 Board of Fisheries (BOF) meeting in Cordova, the BOF considered 28 proposals addressing subsistence, personal use, and sport fishing regulations within the Upper Copper River and Upper Susitna River drainages. The BOF adopted six of those proposals.

The BOF amended and adopted Proposal 7, which prohibits commercial guiding of subsistence dipnetters fishing from a boat in the Glennallen Subdistrict subsistence salmon fishery. Transporting dipnetters to locations where they dipnet from shore remains a legal commercial practice in this fishery. This action did not impact these activities in the Chitina Subdistrict personal use fishery.

The BOF adopted two proposals (Proposals 24 and 25) specific to area subsistence freshwater finfish fisheries. Bag and possession limits for Dolly Varden were added to existing regulations and specifications for gillnets and fyke nets used in this fishery were also added to regulation and will be removed from permit stipulations. This action was needed to comply with litigation that required the subsistence limits and methods and means to be included in regulation as opposed to within permit stipulations.

The BOF adopted three proposals specific to the area sport fisheries. Proposal 31 increased the possession limit of sockeye salmon in the Upper Copper River drainage from three to six fish. Proposal 30 clarified and simplified regulations on the Gulkana River by extending the artificial fly-only regulations in the lower Gulkana River upstream to include those waters directly under the Richardson Highway Bridge. Proposal 34 removed the 14-inch size limit for Arctic grayling in the Gulkana River drainage.

These regulations will take effect with the release of the 2022 Sport Fishing Regulations Summary. In addition to these regulation changes, the new Copper River king salmon sustainable escapement goal of 21,000 to 31,000 established by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game will also go into effect for the 2022 season.

To find a preliminary summary of all board actions please check out the meeting information on the Alaska Board of Fisheries website.

Any questions regarding these changes to the fishing regulations in the Upper Copper River and Upper Susitna River drainages can be directed to Mark Somerville or Tracy Hansen (907) 822-3309 at the Glennallen Fish and Game office.