Dip Net Salmon Fishing Now Open On Copper River (Update)

(PHOTO BY JAKE WEAVER)

Updated with new regulation changes below.
The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

The Chitina Subdistrict will open for an 84-hour period from 12 noon Thursday, July 12 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 15.

The 2018 Copper River sockeye salmon run has improved, allowing opening of the Chitina Subdistrict personal use dip net fishery. 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. The personal use fishery will continue to be managed weekly through the end of August with any potential fishing opportunity dependent upon sonar passage and further adjustments needed to ensure wild sockeye salmon escapement.

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.
  • Of the total limit only one king salmon may be retained per household.
  • 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.
  • Harvest must be recorded 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 June 18 – July 1, there were 86,348 salmon counted past the Miles Lake sonar. The preseason projection for this period was 57,165 salmon, which results in a surplus of 29,182 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 84 hours of fishing time during the week of July 9 – July 15.

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.

Any changes on the status of this fishery 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.

pper 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.

REDOUBT BAY AND LAKE SUBSISTENCE AND SPORT SOCKEYE SALMON LIMITS INCREASED

Sitka. . . The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today that effective 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, July 10, 2018, harvest limits in the Redoubt Bay and Lake subsistence and sport fisheries will be increased. The individual/household possession limit of subsistence sockeye salmon at Redoubt Bay and Lake will be 25 sockeye salmon and the individual/household annual limit will be 100 sockeye salmon. The sport fish bag and possession limit will be 6 sockeye salmon.

The Redoubt Lake weir, operated by the U.S. Forest Service, was installed and operational on June 16, 2018. As of July 8, 13,361 sockeye salmon have been counted through the weir. Based on historic run timing, the projected escapement for the 2018 season exceeds 30,000 sockeye salmon.

The Redoubt Bay and Lake Sockeye Salmon Management Plan provides management provisions for subsistence, sport, and commercial fisheries that harvest Redoubt Lake sockeye salmon based on an optimal escapement goal of 7,000 to 25,000 fish. The plan directs ADF&G to establish a subsistence individual/household possession limit of 25 sockeye salmon and an annual limit of 100 sockeye salmon, and a sport fish bag and possession limit of 6 sockeye salmon if the projected total escapement is greater than 30,000 sockeye salmon. Fishermen are reminded that no person may possess subsistence-taken and sport-taken salmon on the same day.

The emergency orders corresponding with this news release are: 1-S-24-18 and 1-RS-D-19-18.

See more at the Commercial Fisheries News releases web site and the Sport Fisheries News Releases web site.

Office Ketchikan Petersburg Wrangell Sitka Juneau Haines Yakutat
ADF&G 225-5195 772-3801 874-3822 747-6688 465-4250 766-2830 784-3255
AWT 225-5111 772-3983 874-3215 747-3254 465-4000 766-2533 784-3220
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