(Released: July 17, 2019 - Expired: August 31, 2019)

Division of Sport Fish
Dave Rutz, Director
Anchorage Headquarters Office
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, AK 99518

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Doug Vincent-Lang, Commissioner
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526

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

Copper River Personal Use Dip Net Salmon Fishing Schedule: July 22 – 28

The Chitina Subdistrict will open for a 168-hour period from 12:01 a.m. Monday, July 22 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 28.

As a reminder, the Copper River Personal Use Dip Net Salmon Fishery Management Plan and the Statewide Personal Use Fishing Regulations state that:

  • The annual limit is 25 salmon for the head of household and 10 salmon for each dependent of the permit holder.
  • Only one king salmon may be kept as part of the total household annual limit.
  • Personal use fishers must possess both their Chitina Personal Use fishery permit and a valid resident sport fishing license when fishing.  Steelhead cannot be kept and must be returned to the water unharmed.
  • You must record your harvest on the permit immediately.
  • The tips of the tail of personal use caught fish must be clipped immediately upon landing a fish.
  • 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 Copper River personal use fishery is managed under direction of 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 8 – 14, there were 92,814 salmon counted past the Miles Lake sonar.  The preseason projection for this period was 36,762 salmon, which results in a surplus of 56,052 salmon.  Copper River sockeye salmon migratory timing and the previous five-year average harvest and participation rates indicate sufficient numbers of salmon available to justify an increase of 108 hours above the preseason schedule to 168 hours of fishing time during the week of July 22 – 28. 

All residents of Alaska qualify to participate in this personal use fishery.  You must have a Chitina Personal Use Salmon Fishery Permit and a resident Alaska sport fishing license when dipnetting.  Both dip net permits and fishing licenses can be obtained online at https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/Store/.  A $15 fee is charged for the Chitina Subdistrict personal use salmon fishery permit. Revenue from the fee supports the sanitation services at the fishery and trail maintenance from O’Brien Creek to Haley Creek.

There is limited parking space at O’Brien Creek due to the creek continuing to change its channel.  Larger vehicles (RVs) and vehicles towing trailers may not have sufficient space to turn around, please consider parking at the pullouts along the road between Chitina and O’Brien Creek.  Boat launching at O’Brien Creek is currently not available.  For more information on this contact Chitina Native Corporation at (907) 823-2223.  Boats are currently being launched on the east bank (McCarthy side) of the Chitina-McCarthy Bridge.  Only ATV’s are permitted to access the west shoreline due to flowing channels from the Copper River.  Continued boat launching along the east bank of the river will depend on Copper River water level.  The landslide approximately 3 miles past O’Brien Creek has not been cleared, and travel beyond this point by any means is at your own risk.  The Copper River is a fast flowing, glacial river.  The department encourages everyone to wear life jackets while fishing from shore or a boat.

The department urges dipnetters to respect the rights of private landowners in the area and know the regulations before fishing.  For information on access across private lands contact Chitina Native Corporation at (907) 823-2223. 

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 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.