Division of Sport Fish
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
CONTACT: Mark Somerville
(Glennallen) This advisory announcement replaces the advisory announcement issued Wednesday, June 15, 2022 and accompanies the revised emergency order (EO 3-RS-I-11-22) with the correct regulatory language for the nonretention of king salmon in the Chitina Subdistrict Personal Use Salmon Fishery.
The Chitina Subdistrict Personal Use Salmon Fishery will open for a 168-hour period from 12:01 a.m. Monday, June 20 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, June 26. Additionally, the Chitina Subdistrict personal use salmon fishery will be closed to the retention of king salmon for the remainder of season. King salmon incidentally caught may not be retained and must be released immediately.
The Chitina Subdistrict personal use salmon fishery is managed under direction of the Copper River Personal Use Dip Net Salmon Fishery Management Plan. 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 June 6 – 12, there were 152,886 salmon counted past the Miles Lake sonar. The preseason projection for this period was 86,076 salmon, which results in a surplus of 68,810 salmon. The previous five-year average harvest and participation rates, as well as the timing of the sockeye salmon run, indicate that a sufficient number of salmon will be available to allow 168 hours of fishing time during the week of June 20 – 26. This will be an increase of 36 hours from the preseason schedule.
The Copper River King Salmon Fishery Management Plan directs the department to manage all Copper River fisheries to achieve a sustainable escapement goal of 21,000 to 31,000 king salmon in the Copper River drainage. The 2022 king salmon run to the Copper River appears to be weaker than the preseason forecast of 40,000 king salmon. The inseason inriver abundance estimate, based on Native Village of Eyak fish wheel capture rates at Baird Canyon and fish wheel recapture rates at Canyon Creek, project a final inriver estimate near the lower bound of the king salmon spawning escapement goal. Additionally, declines in daily king salmon apportionment at the Miles Lake sonar, are consistent with declining capture rates at the NVE Baird Canyon fish wheels. Therefore, prohibiting the retention of king salmon in the Chitina Subdistrict personal use salmon fishery is justified to ensure the sustainable escapement goal is achieved.
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.
- Personal use fishers must possess both their Chitina Personal Use Salmon Fishery Permit and a valid resident sport fishing license when fishing.
- King salmon and steelhead cannot be kept and must be returned to the water immediately.
- You must record your harvest on the permit immediately.
- Both tips of the tail fin 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.
Additionally, ADF&G is reminding Chitina dipnetters that all 2022 Chitina Personal Use Salmon Fishery Permit participation and harvest reporting must be completed online. Online reporting is required regardless if you purchased the permit through the ADF&G online store or through a vendor. Anyone who purchased a permit must report, even if they did not fish. Returning permits by mail or hand-delivery is no longer an acceptable means to report. Also, permit holders who fail to report Chitina Personal Use Salmon Fishery harvest online by the October 15 deadline will be denied a permit for the fishery the next calendar year.
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 through the ADF&G store. A $15 fee is charged for the Chitina 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.
The department urges dipnetters to respect the rights of private landowners in the area and familiarize themselves with the land ownership in the area before fishing. For information on access across private lands, contact Chitina Native Corporation at (907) 823-2223 or Ahtna, Inc at (907) 822-3476.
Information regarding the fishery can be found at the ADF&G website. This site provides information regarding the Upper Copper River fisheries including: fishery descriptions and summaries, maps of the subdistricts, a list of vendors that issue permits, and links to the sonar numbers and fishing schedule emergency orders.
The current fishing schedule is announced on Chitina Fishery information lines 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 Salmon Fishery, please contact the ADF&G office in Glennallen at (907) 822-3309.