• Winter in the Wrangells

    Wrangell - St Elias

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

Subsistence Fishing

Salmon catch from a Fishwheel
Fresh Sockeye salmon caught from a fishwheel.
NPS Photo

Both federal and State of Alaska subsistence fishing are permitted in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. State harvests are regulated by the State of Alaska while federal subsistence harvests are regulated by the Federal Subsistence Board. Federal regulations apply to inland waters within and adjacent to the park and preserve. Often federal subsistence and State of Alaska fishing occur simultaneously in the park and preserve. To view subsistence harvest records for the Copper River, click here.

A state fishing license is required for sport fishing in the Park and Preserve. No fishing license is required for subsistence fisheries, but some fishing management areas may require permits or harvest tickets.

Are YOU eligible for federal subsistence fishing?

The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) provides a preference for local rural residents over other consumptive users should a shortage of subsistence resources occur and allocation of harvest becomes necessary. If the harvest must be limited, State subsistence and general fishing opportunities must be restricted first before any reduction in the harvest for federal subsistence users occurs.


The National Park Service office in Copper Center provides a recorded message phone with the most current fishing schedule. The recorded message is available 24-hours daily. Subsistence users are encouraged to call this number prior to fishing to determine if amendments have been made to previously announced fishing schedules.

Subsistence Fishing Hotline:


Tanada Creek Fishweir

Monitoring the Salmon migration in the upper reaches of the Copper River. Weekly counts!

Did You Know?