Ice is clearing from the lower Copper River, and fishery managers are looking to the upcoming season. Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist Mark Sommerville says the preseason forecast calls for a return of about 1,530,000 sockeye, and 60,000 kings.
”…last few years.”
Sommerville cautions that forecasts don’t always line up with actual returns, noting that the state overestimated the sockeye return in 2018, and underestimated it last year, when over 2,200,000 reds actually came back. In terms of pandemic impacts on upriver subsistence and personal use fisheries, Sommerville says there’s only one significant change.
…now available on-line.”
While the state will still also issue permits through the mail and at Fish and Game offices, Sommerville says mandatory harvest reporting will now be exclusively online.
…in the future.”
The Copper River Personal Use Dipnet Fishery is tentatively scheduled to open June 7th. A post by Hem Charters says that they will be operating, but under guidelines which require half capacity on boats, unless passengers are from the same household. It says fees must be paid on line when booking a charter, an effort to eliminate potential transaction exposure to COVID-19.