As the dipnet season approaches, this year brings a few changes to our fishery.
Permits for the Chitina personal use dipnet fishery, which have been available online for a couple of years, became available on May 1.
"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.
"The department is also going to be working harder to enforce penalties on those who fail to report harvests in the Chitina Personal Use Dipnet fishery. Reporting has fallen almost below 80%. Regulations state that failure to report harvests can result in a fine and a loss of fishing privileges in the following year. This has rarely been properly enforced in recent years, resulting in a decline in reported harvests. Due to this steady decline in reporting, F&G is going to begin enforcing the loss of fishing privileges for dipnetters who fail to report. For F&G, non-reporting results in more error in the harvest estimation making it more difficult to manage the fishery."
Electronically issued permits not only makes the system more cost efficient, but allows for easier enforcement of failure to report. Harvests must be reported by October 15.
Link to the full story http://fairbanksdailynews.ak.newsmemory.com/?publink=00160a61f
The initial red run sounds somewhat weak. Let's hope it revs up as the season develops.