"Call Ahead"

Make sure to call the "Fishing Hotline" for a current report prior to arriving. Water levels may fluctuate, affecting operating schedules. Standard hours of operation are Monday through Saturday from 5am to 7pm. Charters will not run on Sundays.

"Recommended Packing List"

It is the responsibility for each individual dip netter to provide their own equipment.
As a convenience to our customers a suggested gear list is provided below. Copper River Charters will provide
25-Gallon buckets to accommodate your catch, however each string must be grouped in a maximum of 4-5 fish
for ease of transfer between you and the boat. Too much fish on one string and you may lose your fish!

"Rules & Regulations"

It is your responsibility to know and understand the regulations found at the bottom of this page.
Should you have further questions please contact Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G)

It is against the law to litter -- this includes fish heads, tails, guts..etc. All fish parts need to be returned to the river.
As a visitor to the Copper River region, it is your responsibility to clean your area and to leave nature as you found it and
respect other fishermen. There are garbage barrels & toilets at O'Brien Creek landing. Be a good neighbor.

"Important Notes & Recent Advisories"

07/14/07 -- There have been issues with fish waste left behind at both the O'Brien Creek area and at the fishing holes.
Please leave your fishing area cleaner than you found it. Be considerate of eachother and the law. When blood/guts/garbage
are left behind in fishing zones, this can attract bears and flies. Please DON'T give dip netters a bad reputation.

"What to Bring"

Documentation: You MUST have the following:

  • Current Resident Sport Fishing License
  • Chitina Dipnet Permit
  • Alaska State ID.
  • NOTE: A Kenai area (upper Cook Inlet) type salmon tag is not required in this fishery.

Trash Disposal Items:

  • 2-3 Black Garbage Bags
  • 1 box Gallon size ziplocks

    NOTE: Anything you bring with you must be packed and brought back out.
    Take a kitchen trash bag with you for your return garbage.


Saftety Ropes:

  • Personal safety line - Heavy enough to support your weight x 300% - recommended*
  • Stringer lines (Attaching no more than 4-5 fish per line)
  • Net safely line ( Tie-off at the junction of the hoop and net handle)
  • Parachute cord or small diameter cord (Utility cord used to tie up fish)


  • Knife (Knives): Hip Knife & Fillet Knife
  • Sharpening Stone or Steel Sharpener
  • Fish "Bonker" (or Club, Small Baseball Bat)
  • Utility Shears (Heavy Scissors): Used for trimming of tails per regulations
  • Screwdriver or Leatherman: Used for net replacement


  • Coolers: Usually 2 medium size or 1 large
  • 2 Gear Packs: One for equipment, another for food.

Nets: "Heavy Duty - Copper River Type"

  • Large Landing Net: With approx. 2" - 2 1/2" mesh "See Photos and Regulations" (Do NOT bring Kenai River Style, Gill Nets NOT recommened.)
  • Handles 10' - 16' long
  • Replacement Net Mesh: is optional (King Season)
  • Remember to bring your Tools, i.e. screwdriver or leatherman

Personal Items: Once you are dropped at your fishing hole locations, there is no shuttle back and forth to O'Brien Creek. Make sure and bring any necessities you may need.

  • First Aid Kit: Formal EMT medical help is available in Chitina at the Chitina Health Clinic located on the airport road (Hours 9-5, M-F, Credit cards excepted. Open to the Public). Remember you may be 6-7 miles down river, and an hour or two away from a boat ride to Chitina.
  • Sun Screen: If susceptible to sunburn, bring sun screen and a hat. The afternoon sun can be very bright and hot.
  • Toilet Paper: There are no outhouses or toilet facilities at the fishing holes.
  • Bug Spray
  • Watch
  • Medications


Weather Gear: suitable for the environment including comfortable rain gear.
Foot gear: Many of the dipnetting location require you to stand on rock ledge. Avoid foot gear that may be slippery on this type of surface, or in areas that are continually wet. We believe that sturdy foot gear is a must. You will be safer and more comfortable.



  • Pack a Lunch and snacks.
  • To avoid dehydration, bring adequate water and other liquids to drink.(The waters are very silty, and not suitable for drinking.)
  • NOTE: There are no concession stands where you will be fishing. You may be fishing for 1 hour, or may have to fish the entire day to obtain your fish. Be prepared to take care of your survival.
Information has been copied from: http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us



Glennallen Subdistrict permit holders that are using a fish wheel must check the fish wheel at least once every 10 hours and remove all fish from the fish wheel.

Anglers please consult the Chitina Fishery Brochure for an overview of land status, legal fishery access points and private property
The road from O'Brien Creek to Haley Creek is CLOSED to ALL TRAFFIC. DOT has no plans to repair the landslide at this time.
Remember: Littering carries a fine of $1,000. YOU are responsible for putting your garbage in the litter barrels and dumpsters or hauling it out. The contractor in charge of hauling out garbage is responsible only for emptying garbage cans and the dumpster -- he is not contracted to pick up litter. No Access fee will be charged this year to participate in the Chitina Subdistrict Personal Use Dipnet Fishery. Please respect trespass signage and private lands.

Important Information:
Copper River Chitina Personal Use Fishery

What is "Personal Use"?

"Personal use" is a legally defined type of fishery. It is defined as "the taking, attempting to take or possession of finfish, shellfish or aquatic plants by an individual Alaskan for consumption as food or use as bait by that individual or his immediate family."

For fishing and hunting purposes, the Alaska State Legislature has defined a resident as "a person who is physically present in Alaska with the intent to remain indefinitely and makes a home here, has maintained that person's domicile in Alaska for 12 consecutive months immediately preceding an application for a license and not claiming residency or obtaining benefits under a claim of residency in another state, territory or country."

The Board of Fisheries established personal use fisheries to allow Alaskan residents to harvest fish for food in areas that are not eligible for subsistence fisheries, such as Cook Inlet.

Personal use fisheries are only allowed when they won't jeopardize sustained yield of the resource, and won't negatively impact an existing resource use, and are in the broad public interest.

It is unlawful to buy, sell, trade or barter personal use finfish, shellfish, aquatic plants, or their parts.

Personal use is for Alaskan residents only
Only Alaskan residents may participate in personal use fisheries, and by regulation, only those holding a valid Alaska resident sport fishing license, or ADF&G Permanent Identification Card (senior license), or ADF&G Disabled Veteran's license may participate in these fisheries.

Alaska resident youth under 16 do not have to purchase a sport fishing license to participate. However, they must meet the residency requirement.

Non-residents MAY NOT participate in personal use fisheries. Participation includes, but is not limited to, handling the gear, handling the fish, or driving the boat.

Who may receive personal use fish
Finfish, shellfish, or aquatic plants harvested in personal use fisheries may not be given to non-family members (except when proxy fishing), because personal use is defined as "taking, attempting to take or possession by an individual for consumption as food or use as bait by that individual or his immediate family."

Personal use fish may be used for food or for bait.

A permit may also be required
A permit is required to participate in the Chitina subdistrict personal use dipnet fishery. Also required is an Alaska resident sport fishing license, ADF&G senior license or ADF&G Disabled Veteran's License.

Households MAY NOT HOLD BOTH the Chitina Subdistrict Personal Use Permit AND the Glennallen Subdistrict Subsistence permit. Households must choose one or the other permit.

Households that are found to have received both the Chitina personal use permit and the Glennallen subsistence permit may be subject to fines and loss of future personal use fishing privileges.

Personal use permits are household permits. This means that only one permit is required per household. However, all participating members of the household who are 16 years old or older must also have an Alaska resident sport fishing license, ADF&G senior license or ADF&G Disabled Veteran's license to participate, and must be named on the permit.

Permits must be filled in each time you fish
You must record the date, location, and harvest by species each time you fish. You must fill in this information even if you did not catch any fish - write "0" in the space provided for harvest.

The salmon must be recorded on the permit before it is concealed from plain view, such as put in a cooler, or before the salmon is transported from the fishing site, such as your vehicle. Failure to record the salmon on the permit is a violation, and may be subject to fines and loss of future personal use fishing privileges.

Sample Permit: If you went dipnetting and harvested fish:

Sample Permit: If you went dipnetting and harvested fish during a supplemental period:

Sample Permit: If you went dipnetting and did not harvest any fish:

Sample Permit: If you did not go dipnetting:

Permit Requirements - Read Before Signing

Permits must be returned to ADF&G

Each household permit is also a harvest recording document. You must return your permit to ADF&G at the end of the fishing season, by the date specified on the permit, even if you did not use the permit, and even if you did use the permit but did not catch anything.

Failure to return the permit is a violation of 5 AAC 77.015(c) and may be subject to a $200 fine and loss of your personal use fishing privileges.
Harvest information recorded on the permit is used to monitor the fisheries and to ensure conservation and sustained yield of fishery resources.

Where to get the permit
You can obtain a Chitina Subdistrict Personal Use Salmon Permit at many of the vendors who sell Alaska sport fishing licenses, or at your local ADF&G, Sport Fish Division office. See Helpful Links, below.

Personal use salmon required to be "marked"
By regulation, you must "mark" salmon harvested in a personal use fishery in which a permit is required by clipping both tips of the tail fin. Many people use strong kitchen shears to cut off both tips of the tail fin.

Because it is unlawful to buy, sell, trade or barter personal use fish or their parts, a person may not possess personal use salmon that was taken under the authority of a permit unless both tips of the tail fin have been removed from the salmon. The salmon must be marked before the salmon is concealed from plain view, such as put in a cooler, or before the salmon is transported from the fishing site, such as your vehicle. Failure to mark the salmon is a violation, and may be subject to fines and loss of future personal use fishing privileges.

Bag limits

Chitina Subdistrict Personal Use Salmon
The total yearly harvest from the Chitina Subdistrict is 15 salmon for a household of one (only one of which may be a king salmon). The toal yearly harvest for a household of two or more is 30 salmon (only one of which may be a king salmon).

Sometimes during the season, the Department will issue an emergency order which allows an additional 10 red (sockeye) salmon to be taken per permit. You can monitor Chitina dipnet emergency orders from the Chitina homepage.

There is no harvest guarantee
A lot of variables go into a successful dipnetting trip -- run strength of the salmon, timing of the run, tides, weather, wind, other fisheries, skill, and luck may all play a part.

As with any other type of fishery, whether it is fly-fishing, spin casting, or commercial fishing, there is no guarantee of bringing home fish. Instead, this fishery offers Alaskan residents the opportunity to harvest fish.

You can improve your chances of success by being informed about the tides, weather, historical characteristics of the run, schedule of other fisheries, and other variables. Most of this information is available on the Internet or recorded telephone hot lines. See the Helpful Links, below

Legal gear: dipnet
In 5 AAC 39.105 of the Alaska Administrative Code, a dipnet is defined as

  1. A bag-shaped net supported on all sides by a rigid frame;
  2. The maximum straight-line distance between any two points on the net frame, as measured between any two points on the net frame, as measured through the net opening, may not exceed five feet;
  3. The depth of the bag must be at least one-half of the greatest straight-line distance, as measured through the net opening;
  4. No portion of the bag may be constructed of webbing that exceeds a stretched measurement of 4.5 inches;
  5. The frame must be attached to a single rigid handle and be operated by hand.

ADFG Helpful links
Printable Fact Sheet [Dipnetting 101]
Sport & Personal Use Emergency Orders
Central Region Commercial Fishery Emergency Order openings
Where to get your permit
Chitina Subdistrict Personal Use Salmon Fishery Harvest and Effort
Printable Chitina Subdistrict Personal Use Regulations
Management Plans (This link is to the Table of Contents for the Alaska Administrative Code. Please note the number of the management plan you are interested in reading, and enter that as a search term.)
Proxy Fishing
In-season Miles Lake sonar estimates
Board of Fisheries
Alaska Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Wildlife Enforcement
Boating safety and regulations Hotline recordings

Copper River (Chitina) dipnetting information
ADFG Taped recordings:
In Fairbanks: 907-459-7382
In Glennallen: (907) 822-5224

Regulations for Chitina Dipnetting

Chitina Personal important info ( This is the full link to the information listed above )


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