Spring is in the air and happenings of interest to our members are fast approaching. The Chitina Dipnetters Association (CDA) will be manning a booth at the 2023 Fairbanks Outdoor Show April 21-23 at the Carlson Center. Stop on by and see our selection of newly designed CDA Tshirts, hoodies and hats, and get the scoop on the latest Chitina dipnet fishery news. It is also a good opportunity to renew your annual $20 CDA membership. Your annual membership and apparel sales fund this all-volunteer organization. Without your support, both financially and through membership numbers, we would cease to function as the only organization working to protect and enhance your rights and opportunities to provide your family with freshly dipnetted Copper River salmon. As always, our online store provides 24 hour access to our goodies and memberships. https://shop.chitinadipnetters.com/
CDA is in need of members to supplement the board members manning our booth at the Outdoor Show booth. It's a fun time and great way to run into old friends and meet new ones. And this is about fishing, not rocket science, so booth-sitter training is fast and easy! Contact Paul Harrell (firstname.lastname@example.org) to select a time slot that fits your schedule between Friday afternoon, April 21, and late Sunday afternoon.
Our 2023 annual meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 9 at 7PM in the Tanana Valley Sportsmans Association Building, 1230 TVSA Way, Fairbanks, AK. It will be a fun night with raffles and a mid-meeting feast of various flavors of smoked salmon (courtesy of Alaska Interior Fish Processor/Santa’s Smoke House), fruit and veggie trays, dessert and beverages. Fish and Game representatives will be on hand with dipnet fishery updates, including the 2023 Copper River salmon run forecast, 2022 harvest and permit data, and to answer your dipnet fishery questions. Department of Transportation personnel will present information on last year’s use of Chitina dipnet permit funds for the toilet and garbage contracts, and Copper River Highway Right of Way (CRHR) maintenance between O'Brien and Haley Creeks. They will also address plans to fix major winter damage to O’Brien Creek Road.
The major damage mentioned above references two rock slides blocking the CRHR just prior to the bluff above O'Brien Creek. The slides and other road damage block vehicle access to the O’Brien Creek parking area. The Chitina area experienced a heavy snow fall, followed by warm temperatures and heavy rains last October, triggering the slides and causing 80-100 feet of road bed to split about 5 feet in from the outside edge of the road. The road is ready to slide out and down the hillside. This is true for both slide locations. A photo is attached showing one of the slide areas. DOT has drawn up plans for repair work, which will involve contracting a private construction firm to perform the repairs.
The cost of this contract will be far more than the dipnet permit fund can handle. DOT is looking into other funding sources, but as of last word, none has been secured. It is likely that travel to O'Brien Creek will be difficult for vehicles larger than an ATV this summer. CDA is working with DOT to find a solution. We will have updated information on the road’s status at the annual meeting. See you there.
President, Chitina Dipnetters Association