ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska approved a regulation change establishing a personal-use salmon dipnet fishery on a portion of the Susitna River.
The Alaska Board of Fisheries voted last week to create the fishery that will be available from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays between July 10 and July 31, The Anchorage Daily News reported.
The Susitna system empties into Cook Inlet and is home to all five species of Pacific salmon.
Dipnetters will be able to harvest up to 25 salmon in the new fishery in Southcentral Alaska, though chinook salmon will be off limits.
Several groups backed the new fishery, including the Matanuska Valley Fish and Game Advisory Committee and the South Central Alaska Dipnetters Association, which both submitted proposals to the board.
Personal-use fisheries are only open to Alaska residents and allow permit holders to harvest up to 25 salmon per head of household each year, with an additional 10 salmon for each additional family member.
Personal-use salmon fisheries already exist in Cook Inlet on the Kenai River, Kasilof River on the Kenai Peninsula and Fish Creek. There is also a personal-use fishery at the Copper River, which empties into Prince William Sound southeast of Anchorage.
The proposal submitted by the Matanuska Valley committee said the new fishery would give area residents an opportunity to harvest salmon closer to home.
“Residents of the Mat-Su Valley would like the option of a (personal-use) fishery on the Susitna River and not having to travel hundreds of miles away to the Kenai or Copper Rivers,” the committee wrote.