The Chitina Personal Use Dipnet Fishery will open at the earliest on June 7, 2012, and at the latest June 15, 2012. This is one week later than the earliest possible opening date in 2011. The later date was a Board of Fisheries decision at their Valdez meeting this year dealing with the Copper River and Prince William Sound. At that meeting the Cordova Commercial fleet was limited to only one opener near the mouth of the Copper River during the first two weeks of the commercial season. This restriction came about due to complaints by upriver subsistence users of low fish numbers. The BOF felt the Chitina Dipnet fishery should share in the restriction by having a later season opening date. If the Chitina Dipnet Fishery was classified as a subsistence fishery, as the Chitina Dipnetters Assn. has advocated for, we would not be dealing with shortened fishing times and reduced limits.
Note: Opening day has been scheduled for June 7 this year. Dipnetting could have opened a week earlier under last year's rules.