Copper River to briefly reopen

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has opened the Copper River dip net fishery for the second time since its original closure in June. Starting Thursday the fishery will be open for 84 hours. Biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Mark Somerville explained why they made the decision.
"The fish surprised us, as they have done a couple times this year and sonar passage again went way back up here, well above expected, later in the weekend, and so we have
gone back and again reanalyzing it with the most recent data and have decided that we can justify an 84 hour fishing period in the personal use fishery and still achieve or exceed the lower bound escapement goal." Somerville said.
Somerville said they are going to continue monitoring the Miles Lake Sonar but are undecided about keeping the fishery open through the season if the number of fish able to pass through the fishery stays low.
"We are still going to be a little cautious here as we go in to make sure that we stay above that lower bound goal, but again we are playing everything week by week at this point." Said Somerville.
He said in August the catch per hour tends to decline in the personal use fishery, and those numbers will play a role in deciding if the fishery will stay open through the end of September.