The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s restoration, effective Saturday, brings the Nushagak-Mulchatna bag and possession limits from one fish per day to two fish per day, one of which may be 28 inches or greater in length. Limits for king salmon less than 20 inches long remain at five per day and five in possession.
Previous limits on the river’s bag and possession limits had been imposed when the 2012 run of kings was projected at fewer than 75,000 fish. A sonar system at Portage Creek counted 61,854 kings as of July 5, leading Fish and Game to expect more than 75,000 fish this year.
Fish and Game’s move follows this week’s relaxation of annual limits for Nushagak-Mulchatna kings, triggered when sonar projections of the river’s run of kings exceeded a lower threshold of 55,000 fish.
On the Copper River, a Friday statement from the Federal Subsistence Board announced the tentative schedule for subsistence fishing in the Chitina subdistrict, including a variety of extensions. The schedule is identical to the state schedule and subject to change depending on projected fish runs.
The current schedule for the subdistrict’s subsistence fishery is as follows:
Tuesday, July 17 at noon through Sunday, July 22 at 11:59 p.m.
Thursday, July 26 at noon through Sunday, July 29, 11:59 p.m.
Tuesday, July 31 at 12:01 a.m. through Sunday, Aug. 5 at 11:59 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 7 at 12:01 a.m. through Sunday, Aug. 12 at 11:59 p.m.
In addition, the fishery will be open continuously from Aug. 13 at 12:01 a.m. as provided by regulations. Additional periods will be announced as the season progresses.
A free federal permit is required for the fishery, which may be acquired from National Park Service offices in Copper Center, Slana, Chitina or Kennecott as well as at the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge in Tok.