The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
Chatanika River Whitefish Spear Fishery Permit Lottery Application Opens August 1
(Fairbanks) – The Chatanika River Personal Use Whitefish Spear Fishery Permit lottery application period will open on Tuesday, August 1 at 12:01 a.m. and will close on Tuesday, August 15 at 11:59 p.m. To enter, applicants must apply online.
Only one online lottery entry per household is allowed, and only one permit per household will be issued. A 2023 resident sport fishing license (unless under 18 years of age) is required to enter the lottery.
There will be 300 permits issued this year. Applicants will be randomly selected for a permit, and results will be announced via email and posted to the ADF&G website on Friday, August 25. Successful applicants will receive their permits via email on or before September 1, 2023 and need to print and sign them before participating in the fishery.
The fishery will open at 12:01 a.m. Friday, September 15 and close at 11:59 p.m. Monday, October 16. There is an annual household limit of 10 whitefish with no size limits. The limit can include any combination of humpback whitefish, round whitefish, and least cisco.
Sheefish or Arctic grayling MAY NOT be speared or retained.
All permittees must submit an online harvest report by October 31, even if they did not catch any fish or did not fish. Permittees who do not have online reporting capabilities can go to the Fairbanks ADF&G office and use a public computer with assistance from ADF&G staff. Permittees who do not report online by the October 31 deadline will be placed on a “Failure To Report List” and will be ineligible to receive a Chatanika River Personal Use Whitefish Spear Fishery Permit in 2024.
The Chatanika River Personal Use Whitefish Spear Fishery Management Plan sets a maximum harvest of 1,000 whitefish. In 2022, the total harvest for the spear fishery was 764 fish.
For additional information or questions, please contact Brandy Baker, Tanana River Area Assistant Management Biologist, 907-895-4637 or Andrew Gryska, Tanana River Area Management Biologist, 907-459-7339.