2021 Board of Fish proposal comments needed!

The Alaska Board of Fisheries (BOF) will meet in Cordova from November 30 - December 6 to deliberate and vote on proposals submitted for Prince William Sound/Upper Copper and Susitna River finfish. The Chitina Dipnetters Association (CDA) will be represented at the meeting by two of our board members to defend proposals beneficial to Chitina Personal Use Dipnetters (PU) and oppose those detrimental to our fishery.

O'Brien Creek trail open

The Alaska Department of Transportation's Tazlina crew finished clearing the trail from O'Brien Creek all the way to Haley Creek, the southern terminus of the Copper River Personal Use dipnet fishery, this fall. They intend to drive the trail later in May to see if winter slides caused any trouble spots. If they find any, they will bring out equipment and clear the trail before the dipnet season begins in June. Pictures after the break.

T-Shirt Art Contest

The contest has closed. We should have results in a few weeks. Thanks to all who participated! The Chitina Dipnetters Association (a 501c(4) non-profit) is hosting a contest for a design to be printed on t-shirts and hoodies. The winning artist will be awarded $300. All entries must be submitted by midnight, March 31, 2021 (Let’s be real here, 10am, April 1st, is when I’ll check for entries, and that’s no April Fool’s joke). The design will be printed on our 2021 run of t-shirts and hoodies.

Chitina Fishing Closed until September

Due to a weak run of red/sockeye salmon, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has closed the Copper River Personal Use Dipnet Fishery for the month of August. It will reopen the fishery on September 1 for coho/silver salmon. See the attached PDF file of the ADF&G email announcing the closure.

2020 Dipnet Harvest Reporting Changes

From the Fairbanks Daily News Miner, “For the Chitina permit, this year it is required that all harvest reporting be done online. In the past you could fill out your paper and mail it to the department. No longer. For those without internet access, they can call the Fairbanks F&G office and go through the process over the phone, but mailing physical reports in is no longer an option.

2020 Covid-19 and dipnetting

The State of Alaska has issued public health mandates relating to Covid 19. Mandate 12 limits intrastate travel between communities to critical infrastructure or critical needs. While subsistence fishing remained open and unrestricted under the mandates, there was concern that sport and personal use fishing would not be considered a critical need and would be curtailed.The State announced on April 13 that all sport and personal use fishing will take place as normal with added guidelines to prevent spread of the virus.

O'Brien Creek trail update

The Tazlina DOT crew, using monies from the $15 Chitina Personal Use dipnet permit fee, were back at work this October clearing the O'Brien to Haley Creeks trail used by dipnetters to access the Woods Canyon section of the Copper River. They began where they left off (5.2 mile) in the fall of 2018 and, after removing 2 large rock slides, were able to complete another mile of trail repair. The crew hopes to continue work in spring and fall of 2020. Barring any new land slides, work should go quickly up to the landslide at Haley Creek. Pictures.

BOF appointees

Thank you to all that took the time to email and POM the Alaska Legislature in support of our slate of Board of Fisheries appointees. The Legislature voted and all but Karl Johnstone were confirmed. A minute before the vote on Karl's confirmation, Representative Ivy Sponholtz, of Anchorage area, stood and said more than two anonymous women, who worked with the BOF during Johnstone's previous term on the board, accused him of inappropriate comments of a sexual nature thus creating a hostile work environment for them.

2019 Annual Meeting

The CDA annual membership meeting will be on Tuesday, May 14, at 7pm in the Tanana Valley Sportsmens Association (TVSA) clubhouse (1230 TVSA Way) off Boat St., on the way to Compeaus. It's a fun time to hob nob with other dipnetters and hear the latest on our fishery from ADF&G and DOT representatives. If you're passionate about dipnetting, consider tossing your hat in the ring to become a board member! Nominations will be taken on the floor immediately followed by a vote. Door prizes will be drawn throughout the meeting. Food and drinks will be served at intermission.

O'Brien Creek trail update

Trail improvements between O'Brien and Haley Creeks are in progress. A portion of everyone's $15 Chitina dip net permit fee is funding DOT to undertake this work. Manual brush clearing was completed all the way to Haley Creek before the dipnet season started this spring. In October, DOT's Tazlina crew brought an excavator and a small dozer in to work on trouble spots from the O'Brien Creek crossing to mile 5.13. The images below show examples of the work they completed. This winter, DOT is working to obtain the permits for the remainder of the trail work out to Haley Creek.