Chitina dip netters are now able to harvest a king salmon. The usual allowance in the popular Copper River personal use fishery is back after being rescinded this spring out of concern about a weak king run. With the commercial and subsistence harvests indicating a better than anticipated return, fishing restrictions have been pulled back. State area management biologist Mark Somerville said that was extended to the personal use dipnet fishery at Chitina as of Monday the 19th.
”So we’re back to the standard regulations for the personal use fishery where your bag limit may include a single king salmon for the entire season,” Somerville said.
Somerville said upriver sport fish harvest of king salmon from Copper River and its tributaries could be further liberalized, depending on upriver counts. Sport fishers are currently allowed to take two king salmon annually from two different locations in the Copper River system.
”14,000 king salmon taken in the commercial fishery and we anticipate 5,000 to 6,000 king salmon taken in the Upper River fisheries combined,” Somervillw said. “And that’ll still leave us enough fish to meet our escapement goal of 24,000.”
Meanwhile, Somerville said the Copper River’s more abundant sockeye run is shaping up to come in right around preseason forecast of 1.8 million fish, a slightly below average return.